by Amy Zidell
I am saddened as I wake up this morning to see reports of yet another homicide terrorist attack on a commuter bus in Jerusalem, Israel. Israel forces must make sure their aim is good.
The Road Map to Peace is a great idea. After the major battling in Iraq was over and Saddam's regime eliminated, I was encouraged that the way for peace for Israel and the region had been cleared. It is a major mistake trying to incorporate management of terrorists as part of the implementation of the Road Map to peace. Terrorists are irrelevant to peace negotiations. They are only interested in destroying Israel and in killing Jews and Americans. How can anyone expect Israel to negotiate peace with people or groups that don't recognize their right to exist? How can anyone expect Israel to negotiate peace with people or groups that seek their death? How can anyone seriously ask this of Israel? Palestinians who seek peace can't negotiate with or neutralize these terror groups either. Not only is this due to a limit of resources, authority, etc. but those Palestinians that seek peace risk lynching or other demise for sticking their necks out for the noble cause of peace.
I believe that President Bush can see an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians to fruition. However to expect that the Palestinians can keep the lid on terrorists is unreasonable. Considering the forces and resources employed to fight Al Queda and Saddam Hussein's regime, the idea that Palestinians seeking peace can snuff out terrorists in their midst is ridiculous. In order for the Road Map to work, the United States and allied military forces needs to step in and help rid the region of terrorists. Terrorists are poor excuses for human beings who only exist to hate, ruin, destroy, kill, maim, and interfere with peace. They create and perpetuate a subjugated people robbing them of hope and terrorizing them away from incentive. They cultivate a culture of fear. As in Iraq, this culture of fear permeates society. Iraqis were comfortable dancing in the streets only after the Baath party leaders in their immediate area were eliminated. The Palestinians face a similar situation. They are caught between a rock and a hard place. They are unable to escape from this precarious position without serious and significant help.
One of the clever things about the Road Map, though I haven't read it myself, is that by establishing the concept of two countries living securely side by side, much of the propaganda used by terrorists to justify their cowardly acts is eliminated. The de-legitimization of terrorists groups is an important part of fighting terrorism. Just as Arafat rightly has been made irrelevant to the successful future of a peaceful Palestinian state.
I heard a quote attributed to former Israeli Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin saying that he fought terrorism as if there were no negotiations and negotiated as if there was no terrorism. That sums up a peace plan of action pretty well.
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