There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12

The "Road Map"

It is debatable whether the Quartet any longer has any relevance, but the history of such initiatives continue to affect the present.

For background to Roadmaps see Oslo Accords

Also "The Quartet" - "The Shelf Agreement." - "Proximity Talks"

Where to now with the Roadmap?

One might imagine that the roadmap to be dead and buried with the election of Barak Obama as US President in place of George W Bush.

However, this Roadmap like every previous failed, peace initiative has left a legacy of damage for Israel, both in terms of terror attacks as well as weakening of their bargaining position and the world perception of Israel's validity. Therefore understanding this roadmap, and Palestinian refusal to take even the first steps, is important, as the world moves on to whatever Roadmap President Obama brings out. The EU is also said to have a Roadmap to roll out if the USA does not.

Future peace initiatives may well take the Roadmap as a starting point. More likely jumping to the latter stages while ignoring the Palestinians' non compliance with stage 1, or taking a "Shelf Agreement" as an actual agreement. The Palestinians already appear to hold and advance this position.

Barak Obama's pro-Israel statements during the election campaign were matched by statements sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. His address to the Islamic leaders in Cairo was even more worrying. 4th JUNE 2009 - OBAMA SPEECH IN CAIRO 

There is concern about how much influence Islam has on Obama, and many Islamic nations are happy about his election as they see him as one of them - whatever he says.

A New Quartet Roadmap?

September 2011 - in the shadow of a Unilateral Palestinian state

BICOM reports

Representatives of the Quartet (the US, EU, UN and Russia) are currently engaged in efforts to persuade Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to abandon plans to seek United Nations support for a Palestinian declaration of statehood. The Quartet in recent days has been seeking to author a statement acceptable to both sides that would form the basis for a return to negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and the shelving of the Palestinian plan to go to the UN. Quartet Middle East Envoy Tony Blair is playing a central role in these efforts. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to a number of compromises, including that the statement contain a reference to two states for two peoples, as well as of two national states, rather than just a Jewish state. Abbas, according to a report in Haaretz this morning, rejected the statement, even with the revisions agreed to by Netanyahu.

The US is currently considering a new road map type document, which will set timelines and milestones for both sides to achieve.

The Quartet, according to reports, has decided to issue a statement, even without the agreement of the parties. The statement is expected to be released in order to gauge the responses of both sides.

The United States vowed to veto the Palestinian bid if it is placed before the United Nations Security Council. Washington, however, does not wish to use its veto unless absolutely necessary because of the damage this is likely to cause to US diplomatic standing in the Middle East, where support for the Palestinian bid is high. Consequently, the US is currently engaged in efforts to induce other Security Council members to oppose the bid. A report in today's Israel Hayom newspaper suggested that eight UNSC members currently support the bid, with one certain to oppose, two likely to oppose and four not yet decided. There also remains the possibility that the Palestinians may agree to postpone the vote in the Security Council to permit a longer debate with the Americans and other international parties.

The Roadmap as originated

In February 2003, the world superpowers were working hard on dividing up Israel's covenant land.  (see Land )  The Quartet plans to implement the so-called the "Road Map".

This Quartet comprises the USA,  the EU, the UN and Russia.

You may ask why the Quartet does not Include Israel but includes two organisations hostile to Israel and one longstanding enemy of Israel. You may also ponder who appointed the Quartet to judge Israel.

In 2007, Tony Blair set off to be the Quartet’s new envoy to the Middle East.

The Shelf Agreement crept in to the process via Condoleeza Rice in around 2008.

Sadly, the quartet appeared to have set itself against God.  At their July 2002 meeting they stated,  "The Quartet remains committed to implementing the vision of two states, Israel and  . . . Palestine . . .  The Quartet calls on Israel to take concrete steps to support the emergence of a viable Palestinian state . . .  The Quartet reaffirms that  . . .  the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 must end  . . . "

Joel 3 v1-3 says, "In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.  There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.

On September 17th 2002 the Quartet stated, 
" The Quartet is working closely . . . on a concrete, three phase implementation roadmap that would achieve a final settlement within three years . . .  to be monitored and assessed by the Quartet . . .  The plan will contain in its initial phase (2002-first half 2003)  . . . Israeli withdrawals . . . In the plan's second phase (2003), our efforts should focus on the option of creating a Palestinian state with provisional borders  . .  In its final phase (2004-2005)  . . .  Consistent with the vision expressed by President Bush, this means that the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 will be ended through  . . . Israeli withdrawals to secure and recognized borders."

The Road Map

Phase Target date Requirement of Palestinians Requirement of Israelis
1 May 2003 Effectively fighting terror, disarming and dismantling Palestinian terrorist groups, preventing violent demonstrations and totally halting incitement in the broadcast and print media, and in schools.

Rebuilding public services, restoring the rule of law and holding parliamentary elections.

Bringing order to the Palestinian security forces, and cutting them from 12 agencies to 3.

A gradual withdrawal from all Palestinian territory occupied after the fighting erupted in September 2000.

A freeze on settlement activity, including new construction and natural growth.

Immediate evacuation of all illegal settlement outposts.

2 December 2003 A provisional Palestinian state with preliminary borders will be established.

Israeli troops will withdraw from additional territory.

The Quartet will oversee recognition of the new Palestinian state at the UN.

Egypt and Jordan will restore diplomatic ties with Israel to the level they were before fighting erupted.

3 December 2005 An international committee will hammer out a final peace agreement on the thorniest "final status" issues - Jerusalem, the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees and Jewish settlements.

New negotiations among Israel Syria and Lebanon will begin.

Final result: creation of an independent Palestinian state under a treaty that will end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

For the full text, see www.landofisrael.info/Other/Road_Map

Looking at the above overview of the "Road Map", it is very clear that it offers no more to Israel than the illusory "Land for Peace" deals of Oslo.   The sacrifices are all on Israel's side and the benefits all on the Palestinians side. Consider the teachings of Islam and the culture of hatred and death in the Palestinian areas, and you will realise that the Palestinians can never give the "peace" they offer in exchange for land.

Progress?

Following Annapolis at the end of 2007, a new threat to Israel emerged!

Out of seemingly nowhere, White House deputy press secretary, Dana Perino informed journalists at a press briefing on November 28, 2007 that "The right of return issue is a part of the road map and it's going to be one of the issues that the Israelis and the Palestinians have to talk about during … negotiations."

( The Right of Return, if conceded as proposed by the Palestinians would destroy Israel demographically by using its own democracy. It had been supposed that the U.S. Government understood this. )

It appears that the Bush administration skipped Phases 1 and 2 of the Roadmap and jumped straight into Phase 3, while in denial about the Palestinians having made no moves towards compliance with their part of Phase 1.

Since those optimistic days when the RoadMap was launched.........

The Palestinian terrorist organizations worked together for more effective terror strikes and  vowed defiance of their Prime Minister's attempts to fight terror.   Prime Minister Abbas said he would seek to persuade terror groups to accept a cease fire (see Hudna under Islam ) and made it clear he would not force disarmament of terror groups.   He is is sticking firmly to his "right of return" demand.  

The hope that a better Palestinian leader would emerge brought forth bland statements from European leaders about geting the "roadmap" back on track. Mahmoud Abbas is branded as the new moderate leader, but he was a partner of Arafat in several terror outrages - The west also cheerfully calls him Abu Mazen, without realising that this is his nom de guerre (war name). Abbas is being marketed as more moderate than the elected Hammas leadership - but not to a significant extent. "Moderate" prime minister Mahmoud Abbas has also restated his holocaust denial statements from his doctoral dissertation that

"Fewer than a million Jews were killed by  the Nazis", and that "the Zionists created the myth of 6,000,000 to force the world to accept the state of Israel."

There has been no attempt to disarm Palestinian terrorist groups, prevent violent demonstrations nor to halt incitement in the broadcast and print media, and in schools.

Hamas Terror chief Abdel Aziz Rantisi  said, "Failure to release all prisoners will be a major violation of the truce and lead to its annulment."   and the International media began criticizing Israel for jeopardizing the chance for peace.    A look at the requirements of the Roadmap above  will show that the  release of prisoners is not a condition.  

Syria (a terror sponsoring nation) has been given the presidency of the UN Security Council, again.

Israel pulled out of Gaza (Every Jew; living or dead - except for Gilad Shalit who was seized in 2006 and is still (June 2009) held hostage. Hamas turned Gaza into a "Hamastan" terror camp and is bombarding the southern Israel town of Sderot with rockets on a daily basis.

Hizballah (Supported by Syria and Iran, and tolerated by Lebanon, started the Summer 2006 war by seizing two IDF soldiers (still held 2007) and unleashing rockets on Northern Israel. This war ended inconclusively and Hizballah has been rearming ever since, with no hindrance from the U.N.

Israel carried out a bombing mission in Syria on what was eventually admitted to be a nuclear weapons site sponsored by North Korea and encouraged by Iran.

Mahmoud Ahmahdinajad continues to pursue nuclear weapons and tell anyone who will listen that he intends to use them to wipe Israel off the map. US Intelligence report undermined diplomatic and military chances of stopping Iran going Nuclear.

In Summer 2008 Russia invaded Georgia in defiance of the world and is moving towards a new Cold War with the west. Russia is backing and supplying Israel's enemies and threatening to escalate the process because Israel had supplied arms to Georgia. Russia moved a warship into the Mediterranean and seeks to establish a base in Syria.

How is Russia still involved as a reliable intermediary in the search for Middle East Peace?

Remember this as you see the fallout in the news.        National disasters hit USA 

Many are surprised that George W Bush, supposedly an evangelical Christian, is so committed to a policy which is so contrary to a biblical view of prophecy and Israel.   It could be that this is the payback to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for his support for the war on Iraq.   Tony Blair is determined to see Washington take what he sees as a more "balanced" approach to the Middle East.

Jerusalem

Dividing Jerusalem became a priority in 2007

Is this not significant?

Remember the Palestinian/Islamic occupation and desecration of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. What will happen to all the Jewish and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem when Bush and Rice force Israel to hand them over to Palestinian control?

Tony Blair - new envoy 2007

Tony Blair has set off with great enthusiasm, to be the Quartet’s new envoy to the Middle East. (It is said that he has set up his office with the UN (On the Hill of Evil Counsel)). But why does he think he can achieve anything? Perhaps Melanie Philips put her finger on the thinking, in an article published in Summer 2007.

"The Quartet’s new envoy to the Middle East, Tony Blair, has long wanted to talk to Hamas. Like Michael Ancram, Blair believes that Britain’s experience in Northern Ireland, where former Republican and Unionist wild men who were once deadly enemies now share in governing the province, is the paradigm for success in the Middle East. Just as peace was achieved only once the British government started talking to the IRA, the thinking goes, so peace will only come if Hamas is similarly included.

This analogy is so fundamentally flawed as to be entirely worthless. First, there are obvious differences in the nature of these conflicts. The IRA did not want to Catholicize Britain, nor to replace the government of the United Kingdom by Irish rule. It wanted instead a united Ireland; and while one might disagree with this and deplore the terrorism employed to bring it about, such an aim was itself reasonable. But the core aim of Hamas, to annihilate Israel and destroy every Jew, is unconscionable and should put dialogue with it beyond the pale. After all, what’s to discuss?"

Condaleeza Rice

Marc Pevar compared Condaleeza Rice's position with what the "Roadmap" actually said and made the following observations,

The Road Map cites the four-page Tenet Agreement about how to eliminate terrorism, etc. The daily news shows us that terrorism, violence, incitement and heavy armaments continually increase year after year, day after day in Palestinian controlled territory.

This means that the Palestinians neither implemented the Tenet Agreement nor finished the Road Map's first Phase.

Condoleezza's policy bypasses Phases one and two and goes directly to Phase three.   In this connection, Condoleezza Rice is not following the very Road Map that she uses to legitimize her demands that Israel give up so much in exchange for so little.

The Road Map arose in part because Israel refused to give up any sovereignty until Palestinians first earned Israeli confidence by stopping violence. Turning the Road Map on its head, Condoleezza Rice now insists that Israel must "build the confidence" of Palestinians to prove Israel wants peace by releasing convicted terrorists. Contrary to Condoleezza Rice's demands, the Road Map does not say that Israelis or Palestinians must move out of each other's sovereign lands.

This is a very important fact:  relocating populations is not part of the Road Map. This means that the Road Map does not justify Israel removing Jews from Gaza, Judea, Samaria or Jerusalem.

Although Condoleezza Rice says she is merely implementing the Road Map, instead she is leaping to Phase three before finishing either Phases one or two.  This puts the cart before the horse.  Instead of following the Road Map and removing violence first, America is trying to get Israel to remove Jews from their homes, their holy sites and their land while the violence continues.  This, of course, is the ultimate victory that Muslims keep pursuing through their violence. 

Annapolis Conference - 2007

Clearly the Palestinians wanted the outcomes determined before they started negotiations.

PA to boycott Annapolis if deal not reached

The Palestinian Authority plans to boycott the upcoming Middle East peace summit in Annapolis if there is not a set agreement with Israel on all final status issues, PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Tuesday. “The Palestinian position is very clear. We won’t go to the conference unless we reach an agreement with Israel on the final status issues and a clear timetable for the implementation of any agreement between the two parties,” Erekat said. He added that the PA has convinced Arab and Islamic countries to support the Palestinian position and to establish stipulations for attending the peace summit. He added, “The Arabs are now united toward the conference. We have all endorsed the Arab peace plan (of 2002) as the basis for solving the Israeli-Arab conflict.” Meanwhile, the Bush Administration is preparing to give $410 million to the Palestinian Authority in an effort to boost Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in his rivalry with Hamas, and in efforts to show the Palestinian people that choosing peace is the answer,

Ynetnews report.

The "Shelf Agreement" - What is it?

Here are extracts from a Perspectives Papers on Current Affairs Perspectives  - # 40 - March 26, 2008 from the The Begin Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies

http://www.biu.ac.il/SOC/besa/perspectives40.html

Shelve the Shelf Agreement - by David M. Weinberg

The Shelf Agreement Concept

The new "shelf agreement" concept, advanced by US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, currently serves as the basis for Israel's negotiations with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Under this conceptual framework, Israel is to negotiate an "agreement in principle" on an "endgame" solution with moderate Palestinians, but then place this agreement out of their reach – high up on a "shelf" where the Palestinians can see it, but not yet attain it. Only when the Palestinians have matured and fulfilled all their "implementation" obligations will the transcendent trophy come down off the shelf.

The negotiations are predicated upon the realization that Palestinian leaders currently are completely unable to deliver on any of their obligations under the "old" road map. Consequently, parties to the conflict are ignoring the messy here and now and instead turning their attentions to the political "horizon." In the context of shelf agreement theory, the parties seek to give the Palestinians a clear picture of the big prize awaiting them in the future (the "horizon").

The novel theory predicts that Palestinians will be encouraged to play according to the rules of the game in order to attain their prize. The theory furthermore postulates that the moderates who want peace will be strengthened by a shelf agreement, and then they will be able to do the difficult things demanded of them in the accord – such as confronting the terrorists in their midst and building reliable institutions of uncorrupt government.

All this makes for nice, but seriously flawed and completely untested, theory.

Erroneously Assuming Best Case Scenarios

To begin with, the shelf agreement negotiations assume best case scenarios regarding the intentions and capabilities of a future Palestinian state. Aside from the fact that this may have no basis in reality, it is tactically counter-intuitive and strategically unwise. Endgame talks ought to take into account all worst case scenarios.

But how can Israel, for example, sign a sustainable endgame shelf agreement with workable border crossing arrangements if it does not know the character or capabilities of the future Palestinian entity – and all it can do is assume the "nice" qualities of such a Conclusion.

The impatient hunt for a "horizon" or "shelf" agreement is without precedent in world politics – and for good reason. Shelf agreement theory is academically non-existent, strategically illogical, and tactically ill-considered. It is based on faulty, and for Israel, dangerous assumptions. Contrary to the hopes of its inventors, a shelf agreement could be a disincentive to peace.

Conclusions

Of course, the maintenance of some sort of "peace process," no matter how flimsy, is beneficial to everybody in the Middle East. It upholds a modicum of forward momentum towards a resolution, and prevents Palestinian-Israeli relations from boiling over into large-scale conflict. It could and should beget some improvement in everyday "quality of life" both for Palestinians and Israelis. In the long run, Israel needs peace no less than the Palestinians.

However, Palestinian-Israeli relations have suffered enough from all kinds of failed experiments in negotiations. A performance-based peace process remains the only proven and sustainable model towards a durable final settlement. There is little choice but to tough it out the old-fashioned way: building confidence between the parties by measured, verifiable and concrete steps along a road map towards stability.

David M. Weinberg is director of public affairs at the BESA Center. A lobbyist, spokesman and speechwriter, he has served in executive positions for Diaspora Jewish organizations, and as a senior advisor in the Prime Minister's Office.

 

Proximity Talks

The latest American idea/scheme, from the Obama administration, is "Proximity talks"

In a renewed bid to launch "proximity talks" as early as this weekend, US special Mideast envoy George Mitchell held a series of meetings with senior Israeli leaders on Friday before heading to Ramallah to huddle with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas this evening.

Mitchell is scheduled to be in Israel for three days and has high hopes of being able to announce the start of proximity talks before he leaves. The US has staked a lot on Mitchell’s visit, seeing the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli impasse as critical to its efforts to confront Iran over its renegade nuclear program.

I understand "Proximity Talks" to mean that someone (Mitchell) shuttles backwards and forwards presenting proposals to either side for responses that might enable face to face talks to be planned. ie, Proximity talks means non proximity talks!

Unilateral Statehood machinations

The US Sept 2011 officially asked the Palestinian Authority to abandon its bid at the UN later this month to recognise a Palestinian state on the 1967 border. The request was relayed to PA President Mahmoud Abbas by US Middle East envoy David Hale during a meeting in Ramallah, according to Palestinian officials. See Palestinian State 2012 to see what actually happened.

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Hale contended the Palestinian initiative in September would complicate matters and did not serve the two-state solution. Hale also told Abbas that Washington wants to see the Palestinians return to the negotiating table with Israel.

Erekat quoted Hale as saying that the Quartet members - the US, EU, UN and Russia - were preparing a new statement that envisaged the establishment of a Palestinian state "on the basis of the 1967 borders," without, in turn, recognising Israel as a Jewish state.

 

For an insight into how US policy has sold out Israel down the years you are urged to read, "BETRAYED" by Mike Evans. ( ISBN 10:0-935199-34-9)

One fellowship praying for wisdom for the leaders in implementing the road map was reminded that God has only one road map for peace in the Middle East.   That is the "one new man" of Ephesians 2,  "He did this in order to create in union with himself from the two groups a single new humanity and thus make shalom, and in order to reconcile to God both in a single body by being executed on a stake as a criminal and thus killing in himself that enmity.  (Ephesians 2 v15-16  CJB)    This is where hope lies.

Watch out for the "Quartet" and their "roadmap" on the News, and remember what they mean.   Consider also Disasters .

The Quartet's road map has nothing in common with God's Isaiah 19 highway..  

 

Acknowledgments to "israel today"  magazine (June 2003) and to others mentioned within the text, for much of the above information.

Updated 08/03/13

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