Somewhere on A1A...

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

The Road Map

It's July. The Arabs have failed to meet their obligations for May, yet I have not seen nor heard any discussion of adjusting the timeline. The Media are so eager to announce successes that they cheer the Arabs even though they are failing to meet their commitments. Meanwhile, held to a much higher standard, the Israelis continue to compromise on their security for the mere hope that peace is possible.

The fact is, from the very beginning, the Israelis wanted peace and the Arabs did not. Fifty-five years ago Jews danced in the streets to celebrate a state, while the Arabs prepared to destroy it. Arab obstinacy and intransigence has kept the entire region in turmoil, and has created a wretched group of Arabs with no pride and no history. These Arabs define themselves by who and what they hate, not by any sense of nationhood. Still the Road Map gives them legitimacy... legitimacy they have neither earned nor deserve. They’ve won through terror; they know terror works.

They also know that Israelis want peace so badly they’ll do almost anything to achieve it. The Arabs are betting the Israelis want peace badly enough that Israel will eventually destroy itself by seeking peace. The Road Map is emblematic.

For Israel the process brings hope for peace. For the Arabs the process gives them more Israeli concessions and land in exchange for promises. We in the west hold each side to vastly different standards; we have vastly different expectations of acceptable behavior for Arabs and Jews. The Arabs have much more latitude to lie and kill because we expect so little of them. Yet we want them to have another state.

Until we recognize that the conflict is not between Israelis and palestinians, but between Arabs and Israelis, there is very little chance for lasting peace. The Road Map does nothing to help in that regard, and, like the peace plans that preceded it, it is doomed to failure.


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