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September 26, 2003 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-26

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

This Week

Detours And

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SHARON LUCKERMAN

Staff Writer

Igir

ith Palestinian terror-
ism and Israeli respons-
es escalating in recent
weeks and the death
toll climbing on both sides, the road
map for peace presented May 1 has
hit a major roadblock.
Backed by the United States, the
European Union, the United
Nations and Russia, the road map
calls for a three-phase, three-year
blueprint that would lead to peace
between Israel and the Arab world,
and to the establishment of a
Palestinian state. The road map
spells out conditions for both sides.
Key among them are that Israel
freeze settlement construction and
withdraw from areas retaken since
the Palestinian intifada (uprising),
and the Palestinians are to disarm
Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other mili-
tant groups responsible for terrorist
attacks and recommit itself to nego-
tiations. Neither side has fully com-
plied.
Add to the frustration the uncer-
tainty of new Palestinian Prime
Minister Ahmed Karia, the Israeli
determination to get rid of

9/26

2003

26

Israelis, Americans,
Palestinians share thoughts
on the road map to peace.

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat
and the controversial Israeli-built
barrier to keep out terrorists that
infringes on the West Bank, and
you've got a bleaker situation than
usual.
Is the road map dead? What's the
next step or what must happen
before peace is possible in this trou-
bled region? Opinions vary wildly.
"The road map is neither alive nor
dead — it's just a piece of paper that
can come back and be used as a ref-
erence point," says Aaron Miller,
who has advised the last six United
States secretaries of state and is the
current president of Seeds of Peace.
He adds that now, in this environ-
ment with zero trust and no confi-
dence, the United States has to help
each party make the kinds of deci-
sions they need to make. With no
magic fix, he adds, the road map

peace. "Neither Sharon nor Arafat
made a major gesture, such as Sadat
coming to Jerusalem. Only such a
gesture can overcome the hardening
of the heart that has set in on both
sides."
Yet David Gad-Harf, executive
director of the Jewish Community
Council of Metropolitan Detroit,
says that after the recent terrorist
killings in Jerusalem, it's difficult to
step back and say that Israel did any-
thing wrong.
"Almost all the responsibility lies
in the laps of the Palestinians
because there was practically no
effort made by the Palestinian
authority to reign in the terrorists,"
he says.

requires a "24/7" sustained diplo-
matic strategy.
"But who will take the first mean-
ingful step?" says Dr. Fred Pearson,
director of the Center for Peace and
Conflict Studies at Wayne State
University in Detroit. Neither side
took significant action to make the
plan work, he says, adding that the
Palestinians did not take
steps against Hamas and
Two Sides?
Below, left to right:
Jihad, nor did the Israelis
A bleak picture, unless,
Ajlouny, Miller,
dismantle any but the most
Sadat, Rabin, Gad- as some people believe,
minor of the illegal hilltop
Israel has options,
Half and Stockton
settlements.
which could help
"It takes courage to make
change the situation.
peace," Dr. Pearson says. "Someone
Dr. Ron Stockton, professor of polit-
has to take a chance for peace."
ical science at University of
As examples, he holds up men like
Michigan, Dearborn, says that in
former Egyptian president Anwar
terms of ending violence, former
Sadat and former Israeli Prime
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had a
Ministers Menachem Begin and
more realistic two-track strategy
Yitzhak Rabin, who all took risks for

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