Israel’s Defense Minister Says Bush “Road Map” Plan Will Endanger Israel
May 15, 2003

Conf. of Presidents, ZOA, and ADL
Have Also Criticized “Road Map”

NEW YORK- Opposition to the Bush administration’s “Road Map” plan is growing, with Israel’s Defense Minister warning that the plan will endanger Israel’s national security.

The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reports (May 15, 2003) that Defense Minister General Shaul Mofaz told the cabinet that the Bush administration’s Road Map plan is “bad for Israel and not in keeping with Israel’s security or national interests.” Mofaz also told the cabinet that Palestinian Authority chairman Yasir Arafat is “encouraging the Fatah Tanzim to carry out terror activities against Israel.” (Arafat’s #2 man and current PA prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen], has never called on Fatah to halt its terrorism.)

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) points out that according to the Road Map, Israel is required, during the month of May 2003, to publicly endorse the creation of a Palestinian Arab state, stop dismantling the homes of terrorists, freeze all Jewish construction in the territories, and tear down Jewish “outposts” in the territories—while the Palestinian Arabs are required only to make vague “visible efforts” to arrest terrorists.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said:
“The Road Map repeats the fundamental flaw in the Oslo accords, requiring Israel to make concrete territorial concessions in exchange for unverifiable promises.
“This is a road map to disaster—it will reduce Israel to the indefensible nine-miles-wide borders of 1967, expel all Jews from their homes in Judea-Samaria-Gaza, and create a Palestinian Arab state that will inevitably be a terrorist state—a mini-Iraq will be within easy striking distance of Israel’s major cities and airports.
“Moreover, it comes after a three year terrorist war waged by the Palestinian Authority, which demonstrates that the PA’s goal is still the destruction of Israel. Giving them a state will send a message to terrorists everywhere that their violence will be rewarded with concessions.”

The ZOA notes that Defense Minister Mofaz is the latest in a growing number of critics of the Road Map:

Israeli Officials: “Road Map Doesn’t Demand PA Take Serious Steps”

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported: “Israeli officials say the road map diverges from the Bush speech [of June 2002] by dropping the president’s apparent belief that the Palestinians must first show they are serious about ending terrorism and making peace before Israel makes concessions. In addition, Israeli officials fear the plan’s timetable undermines the idea that progress from one stage to the next should depend on each side’s performance, not a schedule.” (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 4, 2003) Presidents Conference: “Road Map Fails to Demand Results from PA” Mortimer Zuckerman, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, has warned that the Road Map has many “pitfalls, such as its failure to demand tangible results from the Palestinian Authority.” (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 4, 2003)

ADL: “Road Map Contains Fundamental Flaws”

While saying that the Road Map has the potential to advance peace, the Anti-Defamation League warned that contains in its approach some fundamental flaws, erroneous assertions and unanswered questions,” including:

* “Who is going to determine performance? The Roadmap states that progress is dependent on the “consensus judgment of Quartet, and taking into account actions of both parties and Quartet monitoring” … if this is indeed a “consensus” process, history demonstrates that three-quarters of the Quartet – the U.N., E.U. and Russia – are far more vigorous in highlighting Israeli violations than Palestinian infringements. There is a concern that these entities and states may justify or underplay Palestinian violations of their obligations and in turn pressure Israel to implement steps, such as redeployment from territories, that will endanger its security when the conditions are clearly not in place.”

* “The Roadmap text implies equivalency between Israel and the Palestinians in areas of violence and incitement … Th[e] text implies that Israeli defensive military action against terrorists is equivalent to Palestinian acts of terrorism against civilians. Moreover, while there is much documented on Palestinian anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement, there is no evidence of Israeli incitement being a problem.”

* “The Roadmap implies that ending the “Israeli occupation” of the West Bank and Gaza Strip (assuming Palestinian terrorism is under control) is the key to Israeli-Palestinian peace. This conceptual approach is simplistic and flawed. Ignored is the reality that since 1948 the conflict has been about the Arab and Palestinian refusal to truly accept Israel’s right to exist … in focusing primarily on ending the “occupation” as a measure of ending the conflict, and not paying attention to ultimate Palestinian goals and intentions, there is a risk of Israel giving up the tangible (land in the West Bank and Gaza Strip) for the intangible (assurances of intentions to live alongside Israel in peace), which may be insincere and hollow.” (ADL press release, May 2, 2003)

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