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 Tuesday, July 01, 2003

  Update: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Implementing the Road Map

Much has been talked about the Road Map as the solution to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Here is a article by Neve Gordon worth reading, , which outlines what the Road Map can achieve, and what it may not achieve and why. Neve Gordon teaches politics at Ben-Gurion University, Israel.

An excerpt of Gordon's article:

: As opposed to "Tenet" and "Mitchell," the two previous initiatives sponsored solely by the United States, the Road Map was devised and introduced by the Quartet; namely, the United Nations, European Union, Russia, and U.S. (The Road Map) will have a more balanced and fairer adjudicator.

Despite improvements over previous initiatives, the Road Map contains at least one essential flaw that can easily undermine the successful realization of a just peace. (There are ) four most difficult issues left to the final phase. The Road Map itself says nothing about how these four problems are to be resolved. Yet, the power differential between the two sides is such that the Palestinians will have to depend on the good intentions of the Israelis.

And since Prime Minister Sharon does not seem to have good intentions, this proposal, like the ones before it, is unlikely to beget a lasting peace. Israel's premier, however, is a chameleon. Israel will end the occupation of 3.5 million Palestinians; however, he is unwilling to end the occupation of Palestine. People yes, land no.

The crucial point is that while Sharon is feigning to be a peacenik, he is creating facts on the ground that will undermine any future agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

The major issue is... the separation wall or "security fence," a complex series of barriers, trenches, roads, and fences. Rhetoric aside, the wall is being built in order to expropriate land. If Sharon succeeds, no less than fifty percent of the West Bank will be annexed to Israel!

Additionally, the area allocated for the Palestinian state-to-be will be divided into three enclaves, not including the Gaza Strip, which will be walled in on all sides.

The Palestinian city Kalkilya, home of 40,000 people, is already a ghetto. Moreover, eighty percent of the water aquifers will be under Israeli control, making the enclaves dependent on Israel.

Joint Israeli-Palestinian Action Group for Peace

On June 28, 2003, three hundred Palestinians and Israelis met in Ramallah and formed a joint peace organization--called the Joint Israeli-Palestinian Action Group for Peace. According to Uri Avnery, the Israeli occupation forces tried to prevent the Israelis from reaching Ramallah. So some of them decided to walk two kilometers in the heat to evade the checkpoints.

Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He can be reached at:

Read HERE Uri Avnery's keynote address at that meeting.

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