Deconstructing the Roadmap

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Poverty of spirit and moral obtuseness are the salient characteristics of current Israeli policy vis-é-vis the Palestinians in the context of the road map.

Why else would the government stage a big show of “dismantling” or “evacuating” settlement outposts (that are largely vacant and makeshift), then look the other way when more outposts are established on nearby hilltops?

Why else would Sharon urge his partners in land-theft to continue settlement construction and expansion, but to do so in silence and in secrecy?

Why else would the hundreds of checkposts, permanent and ad hoc, continue to besiege our towns and villages like a burning necklace stealthily stealing all our life force, freedom, and vitality?

Why else would the notorious apartheid wall snake its way among our villages and farms in the north, sucking up all our water, uprooting ancient olive trees, razing homes to the ground, and spewing out a particularly long-lasting venom in the belly of the earth as well as in the minds of people?

Why else would the abduction of Palestinians from their own cities and homes continue, while the authorities “generously” release those captives who had served out most of their sentences, or had not been sentenced at all, or had been caught trying to stave off hunger by working in Israel without a permit?

Beyond the cold cynicism and immunity to pain is a deliberate dehumanization that seeks to negate the most elemental rights of the other, hence destroy the basis of any shared discourse or vision.

The distortion of the occupation has given rise to the most lethal form of arrogance that “normalizes” control and gives itself license to act simultaneously as judge, executioner, and victim.

Thus the occupier’s “self defense” is the blanket justification for the occupation itself and all its cruelties and aberrations. It is the root of the evil of violence against civilians and innocents (on both sides) who were trampled by the oppressive machine in a way not dissimilar to the obscenity of the Israeli bulldozer crushing to death the young and unsuspecting body of Rachel Corrie.

From the heights of manipulative power, the ilks of Sharon and Mofaz are passing judgment on the efforts of (often helpless and hapless) Palestinian leaders who are seeking to “deliver” to the Americans in order to be granted certificates of “good conduct.”

Suddenly, the whole roadmap has become an instrument of Israeli “security” with Israeli dictated priorities and conditions.

The Palestinian hudna (ceasefire) is not acceptable to the Israeli political and military leadership unless it leads to forced factional confrontations tantamount to a Palestinian civil war.

While Israeli ministers and generals spout forth the most racist hate language against the Palestinians as a whole, the prisoners (who should be drowned in the Dead Sea), and Yasser Arafat in particular, it is Palestinian “incitement” that has become the issue that determines Palestinian compliance with the roadmap.

Suddenly it is the Palestinian side that must demonstrate impeccable behavior in spite of persistent Israeli provocation and violations. Israeli preemptive and destructive unilateralism is totally ignored in favor of a cynical “unilateralism” of accountability and compliance reserved for the Palestinians.

Another political hijacking has taken place, this time of the Quartet’s roadmap. Another disappearing act has taken place, this time by three out of the four partners supposed to sponsor and monitor the implementation of the roadmap. Another tacit duplicity has taken place, this time by incorporating the 14 Israeli reservations on the roadmap in the actual implementation.

In the meantime, the push and pull game between the Palestinian President and his Prime Minister continues.

In the meantime, at the Muqata’a, a three-meter wall is being constructed surrounding the whole compound.

As the drills drill, the bulldozers heave, and the dust flies one inescapable irony looms larger than the tallest crane:

All the rubble and debris, the broken stones and bricks of horribly mutilated buildings and the grotesquely twisted metal of crushed vehicles, remain contained within the parameters of the wall.

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