Skip to comments.Road Map to Hell - Part I & II
Posted on 05/02/2003 11:53:16 AM PDT by SJackson
Road Map to Hell - Part I
All the following citations are derived directly from the third (and to the best of our knowledge the most recent) Draft of the Road Map, formulated by the four powers known as the Quartet (the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia), whose publication had been postponed at Israels request pending the January 28 elections and the formation of a new Cabinet.
The following are the main points of this document, whose full name is: A Performance-Based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
Establishment of a Palestinian State
As is evident from the Road Maps title and text, the key objective is establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state with sovereignty and a maximum extent of geographical continuity (the Road Map makes no mention of Sharons conditions, e.g. that this state be demilitarized, that it not be granted authority to control borders or airspace or contract international agreements, etc.).
The Palestinian State will be established in two phases:
A. The option of establishing a Palestinian state with temporary borders following general elections in 2003. The Road Map states explicitly that the members of the Quartet Committee will push towards an international recognition of the Palestinian state, including the possibility of membership in the United Nations.
B. A Palestinian state with permanent boundaries, to be established after solution of issues concerning borders, Jerusalem, refugees and settlements in 2005 (disregarding the Israeli Prime Ministers well-known stipulation that the process extend over at least ten years).
Internationalization of the Conflict
A. Two International Conferences.
B. The Quartet.
The First International Conference will convene in 2003 after the Palestinian elections to launch a process that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders.
The Second International Conference will convene in 2004 to ratify the agreement reached on the state with temporary borders and to launch a process that leads to a final solution [and a permanent Palestinian state].
All governments of Israel, right-wing and left-wing alike, have avoided international conferences like the plague. The reasons for their decision, so obvious that even a child could understand them, remain unchanged during Sharons term of office. In fact, the situation may well have worsened, considering the extensive international support expressed for the Arabs, along with overt hostility towards Israel and even Jews as a whole.
The Quartet is the chief instrument applied to wrest freedom of sovereign behavior from Israel and grant it to the Palestinians. The following are a few of its functions and authorities:
A. Convening International Conferences (although it may consult with the parties involved). In other words, International Conferences will be forced on Israel against its will;
B. Deciding based on the collective ruling of the Quartet Committee whether the conditions are appropriate for progress taking into consideration the performance of all parties. This means that transition to the Palestinian state phase will be determined by foreign elements, contravening Sharons stipulation that any such activity be dependent on Israeli assessment of elimination of terror, confiscation of weapons, cessation of incitement and the like. In brief, we have been denied the right to conflict management;
C. Establishing a means of monitoring implementation of the Road Map by Israel and the Palestinians. We recall that Sharon avoided any substantive military activity for a year and a half just to keep international observers out of the area. Now, he has consented to institutionalized international supervision that will essentially undermine our sovereignty in managing the conflict from the outset, even before a Palestinian state is established;
D. The Quartet will ensure that both sides perform their commitments in a parallel manner. This proviso contravenes Sharons insistence that any measure taken by Israel must be preceded by the Palestinian sides having carried out its commitments to the fullest. For example, the Palestinian undertaking to eliminate terror will be rendered parallel to Israels commitments regarding settlements (see below). The very apposition of these two issues is outrageous. Moreover, it is obvious that the Palestinians will perceive themselves as exempt from the obligation to halt terror simply because construction is taking place or some prefabricated structure or other has been set up on the Israeli side, including eastern Jerusalem. Adjudication of such disputes will be vested in the Quartet, which will hear these claims of Israeli violations. The Quartets involvement thus largely vitiates Israeli sovereignty; and
E. The Quartet plays a decisive role in other respects as well:
* Intervening whenever the need arises in direct negotiations between the parties, thereby nullifying another principle that Israel held sacred for decades: Direct negotiations;
* Determining a realistic timetable for progress;
* Offering effective and practical support at each stage of transition towards Palestinian rule; i.e., intervention in all spheres of activity finances, administration, security and the like. Such intervention is already taking place;
* Intervening in the achievement of a final solution, including all that concerns Jerusalem, refugees and settlements; and
· International efforts to facilitate reform and stability of the Palestinian institutions and the Palestinian economy; i.e., intervention in all spheres of activity.
Road Map to Hell - Part II
A. The Road Map insists that the Israeli government dismantles immediately all settlement enclaves that were erected since March 2001, or, the Israeli government dismantles all settlement outposts that were erected since March 2001. According to both these versions, dismantling of outposts and the settlement freeze described below are not contingent on prior cessation of terror, but are to be carried out, as indicated, in parallel, with no differentiation between legal and illegal outposts;
B. The Israeli government freezes all settlement activities (including the natural growth of settlements), or, the Israeli government freezes all settlement activities along with giving priority to the projects that threaten the continuity of Palestinian residential regions, including the regions around Jerusalem All to be carried out in 2003;
C. Demanding a maximum extent of geographical [or: territorial] continuity, including additional steps on the issue of settlements for establishment of a state with temporary borders (the intention is transparent: Uprooting of settlements that interfere with geographical continuity, namely the Judean Hills settlements). This too is to be carried out before establishment of the provisional state; i.e., by the end of 2003; and
D. Discussion of the fate of the remaining settlements will take place before establishment of a Palestinian state with permanent borders; i.e., by the end of 2005.
A. The Israeli government will reopen the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and other Palestinian closed institutions in East Jerusalem, meaning that Orient House, among other institutions, will be functioning once again; and
B. Discussions regarding the permanent situation aim at providing a realistic and just solution to the issue of refugees and negotiable decision on the status of Jerusalem that takes into consideration the political and religious concerns of both parties. This accords the Arabs in Jerusalem political status equivalent to that of Israel, thereby mandating a priori division of the city. The expression just solution regarding the refugees does not augur well either.
The implementation of the U.S. plan starts for reconstruction, training and resumption of the plan of security coordination in cooperation with an external supervision council that includes the U.S., Egypt, Jordan [The EU demands adding the phrase: with support from the Quartet Committee or with support from the EU]. It is especially ominous to note Sharons consent to involvement of Egyptian and Jordanian military elements.
A. The Saudi Initiative: The plan takes into special consideration the Saudi Initiative which was ratified by the Arab Summit in Beirut. This initiative explicitly calls for full withdrawal to the 1967 borders (including Jerusalem) and the return of refugees according to UN Resolution 194, a point stipulated unequivocally at the Beirut Summit. Sharons attempts to have it deleted were unsuccessful.
B. Terminating the Occupation: This terminology demonstrates that mention of the Saudi Initiative is not a mere literary device, as corroborated towards the end of the Road Map: the parties reach an agreement on the permanent and comprehensive status that end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in 2005 through an agreed upon settlement reached through negotiations between the parties and based on the UN Security Council Resolutions that end occupation which started in 1967.
C. The Golan Heights: [T]o achieve a comprehensive peace on all tracks, including the Syrian?Israeli and the Lebanese-Israeli tracks . a second international conference [that will] support the progress towards a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East between Israel and Lebanon and between Israel and Syria as soon as possible.
D. Deliberate Malfeasance: The Israeli government will not undertake any acts that undermine the confidence, including deportation, and attacks against civilians confiscation or demolition of homes and Palestinian properties as punitive measure or facilitating Israeli construction and demolishing civil institutions and the Palestinian infrastructure. All Israeli official institutions end instigation (or: incitement) against Palestinians.
To achieve balance, Israel, too, is accused of incitement: Israeli construction is considered to undermine confidence. This is no mere theoretical matter, as indicated in the Bedein Report (published in the Hebrew weekly Besheva): When I asked a U.S. Embassy spokesperson whether renovation of the Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalems Old City would be considered illegal construction, the response I received in the name of United States Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer was that indeed, any construction in the Old City of Jerusalem would be deemed illegal according to U.S. foreign policy.
The Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth carried the following item on January 21, 2003:
Powell Responds to Sharon
We helped set up the Quartet and support it completely, said U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday in response to Prime Minister Ariel Sharons derisive reaction.
Speaking in New York, Powell said that once elections have been held in Israel, we will cooperate with the Quartet in its efforts to achieve an agreement in the Middle East. We are committed to the Quartet and the Road Map, on which weve been working very hard.
Powell also reminded Sharon of President George W. Bushs vision: His goal is to establish a Palestinian state in the region.
The Bush Plan, which is now tightening like a noose around Sharons neck, was put forward as a cooperative effort by both heads of state. Since Israel was established, it has always been a dependent of the United States and not always well fed at that. From now on, weve been abandoned to the vagaries of the United Nations, the Europeans and Russia, all with the active participation of the Sharon Government and its Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who stated in an interview with Dan Margalit on Israel Televisions Channel One (October 15, 2002): The Government announced that it accepts Bushs vision of two states for two peoples, adding that a third party has now joined the Quartet. Sharon, interviewed by Margalit the next day, indicated that acceptance of the Bush Plan is a strategic decision. The plan is essentially a joint Israeli-American plan.
Foreign Minister Peres presented the President of Mauritania with the Quartets plan, including establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders The Quartet is now working on drawing up a detailed Road Map, an idea that Israel accepts in principle (Yedioth Ahronoth, October 9, 2002).
Strange as it may sound, the Road Map that everyone is so worried about is essentially based on ideas that Prime Minister Sharon himself had raised in Washington previously, ideas that also helped shape Bushs speech regarding a solution in the Middle East. For example, the three-phase plan stipulated in the new Road Map, is originally Arik Sharons. The Road Map, now a concrete document in the Pentagons possession, also obligates Israel to take certain steps (Alex Fishman, Yedioth Ahronoth, October 18, 2002)
Teams of Egyptian and Jordanian intelligence experts will soon arrive in Jericho to train the new Palestinian security system teams. Training of workers will be part of the planned reforms in Palestinian security . (Yedioth Ahronoth, August 21, 2002).
Epilogue In brief, we may state without exaggeration that we are facing a Road Map to Hell, a document whose consequences are no less severe than those of the British White Paper of 1939. The Oslo Agreements were childs play compared to this Road Map.
Methodological criticism of the Oslo Accords pointed to a basic flaw: Israels haste to establish the Palestinian Authority and accord the Palestinians authority, territory, weapons and funds, while leaving the chief points of disagreement borders, refugees, Jerusalem, settlements and sovereignty to be resolved later. This enabled the Palestinians to exploit their achievements in an attempt to force their own preferred solution to the deferred issues to be resolved.
Sharon apparently failed to learn a lesson from the Oslo Accords, having repeated the tactical error under far more serious circumstances: This time, he is paying the Palestinians an advance in the form of a sovereign state. From that point on, they can fight to achieve their perceived objectives as a bona fide state, a member of the United Nations, equipped with all tools, authority and individual support entailed thereby.
After two and a half years of the present Intifada, Yasser Arafat can credit himself with having achieved all his war objectives: A Palestinian state within immediate reach, international involvement and supervision, introduction of the United Nations and Europe into the area, military involvement by Jordan and Egypt, elimination of Jewish settlements and release of Israels effective hold on most parts of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. It is chilling indeed to realize that we have paid for his achievements with over a thousand Jews murdered and many thousands more wounded in terror attacks since the Oslo Accords were drafted.
Elyakim Haetzni is a lawyer and former Knesset member who resides in Kiryat Arba.
Get specific. What's your plan? Is it to forcibly remove these people and transfer them into Jordan? If so, would you have them paid for the property of which they're dispossessed, a la eminent domain? Is it basically removing people -- ie the way we did the American Indians in the 19th Century? IF that's your plan, say it directly without circumlocution ("let Jordan deal with them" -- that's a vague statement). Again, please be specific: You want them forcibly removed from their property? If this is your proposal, be honest enough to say it clearly.
"Any outlaw regime that has ties to terrorist groups, and seeks or possesses weapons of mass destruction, is a grave danger to the civilized world, and will be confronted," he said, outlining the principles of the US war on terror.
"Any person, organization, or government that supports, protects or harbours terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent, and equally guilty of terrorist crimes."
Since Sharon and GWB seem to agree on the establishment of a state. What's missing is acceptance of Israel by the Arab world, which includes an abandonment of the right of return, without which peace is impossible. Thats the untouchable third rail.
Without recognition, we're essentially talking about an agreement between warring parties, actions verified by a trusted party are essential, not just words. Thats what Sharon has asked for, and thats what GWB has asked for. I suspect over the next few months we'll see a disagreement or two between the State Dept and the White House and either compliance will be demanded of the PA, or we'll simply mosey on down the road to the next war.
BTW, over time not only will a terrorist state in the territories, and that's what the road map is heading toward, not contribute to regional stability, but will vindicate Sadaam and earn him a place as a revered martyr of the palestinian cause.
"Tourism Minister Benny Elon has proposed a new outline for peace in the Middle East, entitled: 'In the Wake of the War in Iraq - A Historic Opportunity for a Regional Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.'
"Elon, successor to the assassinated Rehavam Ze'evi as head of the Moledet Party in the National Union, conceived the plan as an alternative to the Road Map currently under consideration. He says that the Road Map is merely a "rehashing of the decades-old goal of trying to seat two peoples on the western side of the Jordan River" - an objective he calls "unworkable" and "dangerous." Giving the Arabs of Yesha a quasi-state will not solve the fundamental problems of borders and refugees, Elon says, but will instead guarantee the next round of terrorism and warfare.
"Elon's plan offers what he calls 'the genuine and original two-state solution,' proposing that it encompass the full extent of Mandatory Palestine on both sides of the Jordan River. ..."
I believe a plan such as this is the only kind that will work
This family feud has been going on for millenia... (see Genesis chapters 12 through 21 regarding Ishmael and Isaac).
Both parties have historically valid claims in their connection to Abraham. Both have rightful claims to long residency in the land. Both were guaranteed a national homeland by recent occupying powers ( British Balfour Declaration of 1917). Both claim the same holy religious site (al Aqsa Mosque sits on the location of Israel's Holy Temple site - above the "wailing wall").
The problem is and always has been the desperate nature of the struggle each side perceives.
From the Crusades, to the pogroms of Eastern Europe to Hitler's final solution, the Jewish people have been in a struggle to preserve the existence of their race/people. The pan-Arab peoples of the region, through agencies such as the PLO and similar organizations have vowed "to drive the Jews into the sea." Despite later repudiation the obvious passion of that oath continues.
Israel's former Prime Minister Golda Meir revealed the power of their determination, "We Jews have a secret weapon in our struggle with the Arabs - we have no place to go."
Regarding Palestinian claims, since the conquest of the Muslim Caliph Omar in 638 a.d. Arab groups have lived on the land. This has been their home. A familiar sense of the Palestinian claim might be found in our American Indians. However, for the Palestinians it wasn't 350 years ago that their land was invaded (as when people began displacing American Indians) ...it was only 60 years ago!
The UN attempt to bring about a solution in 1947 was, as with most things stamped "UN," unrealistic, ineffective, and without moral capital. However fair the division may appear on a map (UN's patchwork division of Israel), the animosity of blood feud has proven too powerful. Mix oxygen and fire and it consumes everything in proximity.
This is why I believe Elon's plan is the only, even remotely, managable solution. Put the brothers on either side of the Jordan river...if you cross it, you are a legitimate target. Now, let's talk peace.
(Not mentioned is the sticky solution to Jerusalem. I suggest a massive engineering challenge: relocate the al Aqsa Mosque since it is both more recent and right where the Jews would likely rebuild their temple. Move the Mosque, Dome of the Rock and all, surrounding dirt and all, and rebuild it on the other side of the river.)
No, particularly if you're traveling in reverse. see 11. Since for better or worse Sharon and GWB arent far apart, its much better to demand compliance from the PA. If the US objective is a more stable middle east it makes no more sense to let the UN, the EU, Russia and Britian dictate the solution here than it would have in Iraq.
Re your comment toAric2000, transfer is the misunderstood boogeyman of the process. Most proposals Ive seen which have envisaged a rump state or autonomous zone ruled by Jordan (or Israel) would grand Jordanian citizenship (or palestinian, if a state) to the residents of ceded and unceded portions of the territories, accompanied by the right (if peaceful, otherwise deportation or jail) to live and work in the new state. Could they move, sure, and their might be both financial and social incentives to do so, but that doesnt involved forced transfers.
Speaking of transfers and financial costs, its probably worth touching on two points.
First, there will be transfers, even under the road map. As we speak over sixty percent of the Arab refugees live in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. They will NEVER be allowed to settle in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. They WILL be transferred, if the Arabs have their way (they wont) to Israel proper, more likely to whatever entity emerges. I believe at Camp David the cost was estimated at $30-$35 billion (guess who pays?).
In addition, in what I view as an act out of character with American values, any palestinian state created will also require the forcible deportation of all Jews, since Jews will not be offered citizenship nor allowed to live in a road map created state. So transfer of millions of Arabs and Jews will be happening, even under the road map, just a matter of who goes where.
IMO, given what will be a substantial resettlement bill to the US under any circumstances, I think a good starting point might be giving financial incentives along with a gentle nudge to Jordan, Syria, and the Syrian province of Lebanon to absorb the refugees. Theyve been there nearly 60 years now. Maybe even some incentive to free Lebanon.
But removing approx. 375,000 Jews from "settlements" is fine and dandy by you?
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