I think the Road Map for Peace in the Middle East is unworkable. The Arabs are unwilling, maybe even unable, to fulfill their obligations within the framework. The Arab News sees it the same way.
The blood-soaked events of the past week are clear evidence that Mahmoud Abbas, the first Palestine prime minister, and his government cannot walk the road to the road map for a Middle East peace alone. They will need help from many quarters, foremost from Palestinians themselves.
Such support is not at all forthcoming, and for good reason. Palestinians had to bury 12 of their own following an Israeli raid in Gaza last week. Not surprisingly, there were chants against Abbas in the funeral procession. A bomb attack on a Tel Aviv café which killed three Israelis came a few days earlier, prompting a grim reminder of how difficult it will be for the road map and Abbas to succeed. On that very day, Abbas was sworn in with a promise to crack down on activists and work for the success of the new internationally backed Middle East peace plan.
Abbas is a critic of attacks against Israelis, and in his inaugural address as the Palestinian Authority’s new prime minister he pledged to control militant groups and illegal weapons. He rejected “terror on either side and in any form” and vowed to put an end to the “chaos of arms” in the Palestinian areas, an implicit warning to the various Palestinian militias that the “security pluralism” of the intifada must soon end. But Hamas is not listening, rejecting the road map outright and calling it “a plan to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”
I have two concerns about the Road Map's implementation. One: How much harm will come to Israel and its' people (not to mention Americas' credibility) during the time it takes for the Quartet to recognize that the Arabs will not support it? And Second: What concessions will the Quartet's next plan demand of Israel?
The road map requires the Palestinians to put an end to the violence. Against the background of the intensifying conflict, it is difficult to find a single Palestinian who thinks it is possible or necessary to disarm the armed factions that conduct the terror attacks. Abu Mazen may have succeeded in forming a government, but his political plans to end the military intifada and turn it into a nonviolent struggle now appear to be hopeless.