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Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Who says there's no truth to be found in the press?

The National Post (Canada) published this, by Israel Asper
As you read, listen to, or watch today's media, you would think the road map is all about Israel refusing to free captured terrorist prisoners; you would think it was about Israel building a security fence to keep out Arab terrorists; you would think it is about Israel being forced to let Palestinian workers, terrorists amongst them, come back in to work in Israel; you would think it was about demanding that Israel make "confidence-building" gestures to support Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, for which there is no quid pro quo, quite unilaterally, so that Abbas will be able to deliver eventually on his promises.

The road map is about none of these matters. In fact, none of them are even part of the road map. They are merely red herrings dragged across the picture by the Palestinians to try and distract the world from the fact they are not carrying out their commitments that the road map actually provides, and to which they say they've agreed.
This article also contains a clear explanation of Resolution 242, which is very helpful (keep it around for future reference and quotation):
Resolution 242 provides that Israel will withdraw from territories occupied by it in the 1967 war, but consistent with peace and militarily defensible and secure borders. It does not say "all the territories," or even "the territories." It just says "territories." This was hotly debated at the UN when it was enacted, because between the Arabs and the Russians, there was an attempt to force Israel to withdraw from every square inch of territory it had captured in the war against it of 1967. Israel agreed to give back "some territory" and nothing more. It gave back all of the Sinai to Egypt, and that constituted 92% of "all the territories." One can argue that that is quite enough.
Before I read Daniel Gordis's piece, below, I would have agreed with Asper's conclusion -- "Israel is now entitled to call a halt to its obligations under the road map, based on Palestinian non-compliance -- and it should do exactly that." -- but now I'm thinking, leave well enough alone for the moment, and let the people enjoy this relatively quiet, relatively peaceful time.