In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 4, 2003 / 6 Menachem-Av, 5763

‘Roadmap’? What ‘Roadmap’?

By Jeff Jacoby

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article | The US-sponsored "road map" to peace between Israel and the Palestinians is not a very challenging document. The text, which is posted at the State Department website, is only 4-1/2 pages long, and most of it is written in reasonably clear English. Anyone willing to invest 15 minutes in reading it can glean a pretty good idea of its terms.

And yet a surprising number of people one might expect to be familiar with the road map seem not to know what it says.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, for example.

In an interview last week with Lally Weymouth of Newsweek and The Washington Post, Abbas said he had discussed the road map four times with Ariel Sharon and was "waiting to see" if the Israeli prime minister would deliver on his commitments.

"Does that mean freezing settlements?" Weymouth asked.

"Not this only," Abbas answered, "but all the items stipulated in the road map -- freeing the prisoners . . ."

"But the issue of prisoners is not in the road map," Weymouth objected.

"It is in the road map," Abbas insisted.

Donate to JWR

In fact, it isn't in the road map. There is nothing at all in the blueprint that requires or even encourages Israel to release Palestinians arrested for terrorist activities -- not now, not in the future. It is hardly plausible that Abbas didn't know that. More likely, he knew it perfectly well -- but figured most Washington Post and Newsweek readers wouldn't.

After all, in the weeks leading up to President Bush's back-to-back summits with Abbas and Sharon, the media harped incessantly on the release of Palestinian prisoners as a critical step in the latest Middle East peace process. Some reporters noted in passing that the road map doesn't say anything about Palestinian prisoners, but others falsely implied -- or stated outright -- that freeing criminals was an obligation the agreement map imposes on Israel.

The week Abbas arrived in Washington, for example, the Post was reporting that "the road map has stalled over several key issues," including "Palestinian demands for . . . the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails." A few days earlier, the Los Angeles Times informed its readers that Sharon and Abbas were to discuss "ongoing steps under the peace plan known as the 'road map,' including the release of some Palestinian prisoners."

Last week, succumbing to the international pressure, Israel agreed to free 540 prisoners, including 210 members of the terrorist organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The Israeli government promised not to release any prisoners "with blood on their hands," but time and again that is exactly what it has done.

In June, for example, as a goodwill gesture to Abbas, Israel freed more than 100 imprisoned Palestinians. One of them was Ahmed Jbarra, who murdered 14 people and wounded 60 in a horrific bombing in 1975. Upon his release, the unrepentant Jbarra was hailed by Palestinians as a hero and promptly named an "adviser" to Yasser Arafat. Soon after, The Jerusalem Post reported, he was publicly urging Palestinians to kidnap Israelis so they could be exchanged for even more Arab prisoners.

But none of that got much attention outside Israel, where the focus has moved on to what else Israel should be doing to keep the road map alive. Much has been made of the security wall Israel is building along the West Bank border. Palestinian demands that Israel demolish the wall have gotten a great deal of attention, as has the Bush administration's public criticism. And yet the wall too is something about which the road map says absolutely nothing.

By contrast, the document says a great deal about what the Palestinian Authority is supposed to do. And the PA's foremost obligation, more critical to the road map's success than anything else, is to crush the terrorists who have shed so much innocent blood.

The language is explicit: The PA must "declare an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism." It must "arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere." It must end "all official . . . incitement against Israel." Above all, it must carry out the "dismantlement of terrorist capability and infrastructure." These are not optional goodwill gestures or "confidence-building" suggestions. They are mandatory commitments the Palestinians must fulfill if the road map is to go forward.

So far they have fulfilled none of them. The anti-Israel incitement continues. Terrorism has not stopped. As for the dismantling of terrorist groups, Abbas says bluntly that it will never happen.

"Cracking down on Hamas, [Islamic] Jihad, and the Palestinian organizations," he declared on July 23, "is not an option at all."

It is the Oslo farce all over again: Israel weakens itself through real concessions on the ground, while the Palestinians pocket the concessions and then break their promise of peace.

However well meant, this is a road map to nowhere. It will not lead to genuine peace and security, not so long as the Palestinians are ruled by the likes of Arafat and Abbas. Terrorism made them what they are; it is the taproot of their power and influence. From such men, peace will never come.

The indispensable first step to Mideast peace remains what it always has been: a new and different Palestinian leadership, one not compromised by terror. Until that leadership appears, the violence and bloodshed will go on.

Every weekday publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist Comment by clicking here.

Jeff Jacoby Archives

© 2003, Boston Globe