The U.S. should replace the roadmap with a Ã¢â‚¬Å“carrot and stick approachÃ¢â‚¬Â, former House speaker Newt Gingrich argued in the recently published summer edition of the Middle East Quarterly.
In a paper entitled, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Defeat Terror, Not Roadmap Diplomacy,Ã¢â‚¬Â Gingrich insisted that civil negotiations and Oslo-like diplomacy should not continue until the Palestinian Authority dismantles all Ã¢â‚¬Å“terroristÃ¢â‚¬Â infrastructures.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Diplomacy is important and has a vital role to play, but its function must be different than the Oslo process and the roadmap suggest,Ã¢â‚¬Â he wrote.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The focus on Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy cannot work when one side has a leadership that does not deliver on its word.Ã¢â‚¬Â He added.
Apparently Gingrich refers to the PA as the party that does not deliver its words. Strangely enough, GingrichÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s understanding of the complicated process in the Middle East reflects a dangerous level of naivety, but even more dangerous, his assessment of who is fulfilling obligations is extremely distorted.
Even decent Israeli hardliners are not capable of denying the remarkable achievements of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the long way towards implementing the road map obligations. Achievement on both the security and democratic reforms arenas have been praised by most world countries, but more important by U.S. special security envoy Willian Wards.
On the contrary, even the American Administration, IsraelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s close ally, could not but publicly criticize Sharon for failing to fulfill road map obligations, especially his failure to remove unauthorized settlersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ outposts and the continued expansion of settlements.
Yet, Gingrich insists that Israel has fulfilled all its obligations, while the Palestinian side willfully disregarded its promises.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Diplomacy should not be used as political checkmate while one side keeps its word, and the other side willfully disregards its promises to gain political advantage.Ã¢â‚¬Â Gingrich wrote.Ã‚Â
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
The roadmap, developed by the Bush administration during early 2003 in cooperation with Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations, makes clear that all sides must make tangible steps towards a two-state vision.
Gingrich expressed believe that the roadmap has failed and that it was the Ã¢â‚¬Å“time to move on, calling for replacing the roadmap with a Ã¢â‚¬Å“carrot and stick approachÃ¢â‚¬Â that encourages peaceful activity for the Palestinian people.
The most outrageous of GingrichÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s article is his urge for Israel to lift restrains imposed on army, and his call for a more aggressive military response to attacks on Israeli civilians.
He even presented the number of Israeli causalities in context of the American population.
As the U.S. population is 60 times the population of Israel, in the context of the American population the approximately 1000 Israel causalities translate to 60,000. Yet, it slipped the mind of Mr. Gingrich that the Palestinian population is half that of Israel; and that in return to each IsraeliÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ causality there were 5 causalities on the Palestinian side. In an American context, Palestinian causalities translate to 600,000.
After applying the game of figures, Gingrich concluded that Israel has been far more restrained than the US in its war on terror.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When a neighborhood shelters terrorists, it should not be surprised at a violent response,Ã¢â‚¬Â he insisted.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When a rocket or mortar is fired from a neighborhood, people should expect retaliatory fire. When someone advocates killing Israelis, they should expect to be killed by those they plan to kill.Ã¢â‚¬Â He added.Ã‚Â
In his entire article, Gingrich made no reference to the Israeli occupation of the entire Palestinian territories, and to its ongoing program of expanding perpetuating the occupation.
His only concern was Ã¢â‚¬Å“the destruction of the terrorists,Ã¢â‚¬Â that should be the primary requirement to any progress.
Publishing a call to abandon the road map on the eve of implementing the disengagement plan, is in essence a call to enforce the new geopolitical conditions created by the disengagement as a de facto final status solution; in other words, it is a word in defense of creating an apartheid system in the Palestinian territories.
Also, one could note that the article came following a noticeable change in the U.S. Administration stance concerning Hamas, and following reports that U.S. president George Bush decided not to press on the PA to dismantle resistance groups. In fact, the U.S. and the EU went further to open dialogue with Hamas elected leaders.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â