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November 29, 2002 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

DISORIENTED

from page 23

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list

Quartet members — three of whom
it considers biased toward the
Palestinians — will serve as moni-
tors, playing a role that until now
has been filled by the United States. _
The new version speaks of moving
through the process with the "consen-
sus" opinion of the Quartet — essen-
tially giving the United States veto
power — but Israeli officials argue
that isn't enough: They want any
monitoring to be left solely to the
United States.
Several analysts say that, unlike
Bush's June 24 speech, the road map
essentially allows Palestinian Authority
leader Yasser Arafat to remain in
power.
Bush also said no Palestinian state
could be created until the Palestinian
leaders "engage in a sustained fight
against the terrorists and dismantle
their infrastructure." Israel has com-
plained that the security steps the plan
demands of the Palestinians are too
vague.
"The road map is not faithful to
President Bush's June 24 speech,
which makes crystal clear that removal
of Yasser Arafat is a prerequisite of any
American diplomatic initiative," said
David Makovsky, a senior fellow at the
Washington Institute for Near East
Policy.
Also of concern is the lack of conse-
quences for Palestinian non-compli-
ance.
If the road map is released next
month, it will come during national
elections in Israel, where Haifa's dovish
mayor, Amram Mitzna, will lead the
Labor Party. The Likud leadership will
be decided in a primary Nov. 28, with
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a heavy
favorite to defeat his challenger,
Foreign Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu.

Delay Requested

Israeli officials have been asking for
the release to be postponed until after
the Jan. 28 national elections.
.Sharansky made the request in
Washington last week, but so far the
United States has resisted. "We haven't
made any decisions in terms of
announcements or anything," State
Department spokesman Philip Reeker
said last week.
Releasing the road map during the
election campaign would be seen as a
gift for Mitzna, who has said he will
meet with any Palestinian leader,
including Arafat. Sharon has refused

BEzinn) TIKE ISSUE

ener to the
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meet with Arafat because of Arafat's
ties to terror groups.
However, Martin Indyk, a former
U.S. ambassador to Israel, said
Monday that postponing the release
would be as much an act of interfer-
ence in Israeli politics as releasing it.
He also suggested that Sharon would
not be hampered by the road map.
"He needs to show the Israeli elec-
torate not only that he can fight ter-
rorism but that he has a way out of
the process," Indyk said at a forum at
the Brookings Institution, where he is
a senior fellow. "He needs to support
it."
Indyk also said that, based on the
fate of other peace plans presented
over the past two years, Sharon knows
there is little chance the road map will
be implemented. Therefore, Indyk
said, he has little to lose by supporting
the plan.
Makovsky speculated that the
United States may be insisting on
releasing the document quickly to
strengthen U.S. attempts to woo Arab
support for a potential attack on Iraq.
"Introducing the document at such
a sensitive juncture, very little can be
accomplished," he said. "It makes me
wonder if Arab states are seeking to
insist upon the Quartet's passage of
the road map as a prerequisite for their
acquiescence to the American actions
in Iraq." Li

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