The Roadmap is Finished, Mr. Secretary

Category: Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Conflicts And War, Occupation Views: 3644
3644

U.S. Secretary of State Collin Powell stated in a recent speech that the Roadmap for peace is not finished. Powell's words defied reality. The U.S. brokered peace initiative was born dead, and whatever ray of hope the document might have possessed, has already been assassinated by Israel, literally. 

"We've already seen reports on television that say, well, the Roadmap is now finished, or the ceasefire is over, or this is all off track. No, it is not," Powell breached to a group of Arab and Israeli kids in Maine, gathering for a three-week summer camp. 

Setting aside the violations of the Roadmap by Israel, he signaled out the only violent Palestinian retaliation, stating, "we will not be stopped by bombs, we will not be stopped by this kind of violence." 

I cannot confirm, but I have a feeling that Powell's courageous exclamation won him lasting applause by the kids and their mentors at the camp. 

I only wish that Powell's courage was abundant enough to acknowledge the 856 Israeli violations of the Roadmap. Wouldn't it have been equally appropriate to exclaim: "we will not be stopped by assassinations, home demolitions, military checkpoints, the building of illegal settlements, the uprooting of trees, the seizure of land and the deteriorating health of most Palestinian children as a result of Israel's siege and military closures?" 

But on the other hand, maybe such a lengthy statement is not as striking as Powell's original one: "We will not be stopped by bombs." Indeed, listing Israel's violations, all 856 of them, is likely to last for hours and is unlikely to win the respected Secretary the children's applause. 

But even my sarcastic remarks are insufficient to convey the frustration felt by many Palestinians, a frustration that gave birth to two Palestinian bombings in Israel, on August 12, after a lull in violence that lasted for weeks. 

These are some of the truths that you choose to ignore, Mr. Secretary. The signing of the ceasefire agreement on June 29, Hudna, created a different reality on the ground, since, for the first time in years, Palestinians refrained from attacking Israeli targets, military or otherwise. The Palestinian commitment to the ceasefire and the restraint Palestinian groups exhibited astonished even Palestinians themselves. 

But Israel didn't reciprocate. Land confiscation continued. Bids to build new illegal settlements, commissioned by the Israeli government, were published in Israeli newspapers. Raids on West Bank towns and villages never ceased. Threats, incitement and provocative schemes by Israeli officials - such as attempts by a Knesset member to force his way into al-Aqsa Mosque, which sparked the ongoing uprising in the first place - were a daily practice. 

Even more, Mr. Secretary. Sharon made it clear that he cares little about the Palestinian ceasefire. Rather than using the opportunity to rebuild the battered mutual trust between Palestinians and Israelis, he demanded that every Palestinian group be dismantled. 

Mr. Secretary, wouldn't you expect that despite their impressive patience, Palestinians would feel compelled to respond sooner or later? Were you really taken by a surprise when a bomb or more went off in Israel, killing two Israelis on August 12? If you were, then you must've missed the news for over a month. Israel's attacks on the West Bank that killed seven Palestinians and wounded many more, since the signing of the Roadmap, left little doubt that Palestinian groups would soon retaliate. 

But you and your government seemed only concerned with the Israeli victims. You uttered not a word to condemn Israel's killings, rampages and violations of the agreement. Only the bombs of Palestinians seem to echo in your ear. The firepower of the fourth strongest army in the world, used against a civilian population doesn't seem to bother you a bit. 

I hate to be the one who breaks the bad news. Yes, the Roadmap is finished. It was on Israel's "targeted killing" list from the day it was leaked out to the media. I even contest that the peace initiative was born dead. It was neither fair, nor was it meant to achieve a just peace. It was a political ploy so that President Bush might polish his tattered image, that of a warmonger. 

If your government were genuine in its quest for peace, it would've exerted equal pressure on Sharon's government; it would've stopped channeling billions of dollars of military aid to Israel, aid that is urgently needed by low-income and poor American families; it would not have applauded Sharon, perceived by millions worldwide as a convicted war criminal. 

If you were genuine, Mr. Secretary, you would've stood proudly, held your head high and declared that "Israel must also respect international law, and we will see to it that Israel implements every U.N. resolution it snubbed throughout the years." But you haven't. You choose to impress a few kids at a summer camp in Maine, by blaming the victim, as you have always done. 

You see, Mr. Secretary, the word "honest broker", a role that your government assumed many years ago, is not merely an honorary title. It is a responsibility; a responsibility that I dare say, you have failed to fulfill.

Ramzy Baroud is the editor-in-chief of http://PalestineChronicle.com and the editor of the anthology entitled "Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion," now available at: www.palestinebooks.com

To buy "Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion" CLICK HERE


  Category: Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Conflicts And War, Occupation
Views: 3644

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Older Comments:
A MUSTAFA FROM CANADA said:
American cannot keep shutting its eyes..hypocracy will be its downfall
2003-09-12

BENINRB FROM US said:
Excellant article. As long as the US continues to support Israel both financially and philosophically then neither Palestine nor the rest of the Arab world can trust anything said by the US.

As for Mr. Powell, why should he care what happens to Palestinian children or civilians? After all he spent several years as a combat soldier in Viet Nam honing his skills and erasing his conscience.
2003-08-30

MASHER FROM UK said:
Well Eccoo, its quite simple you most probably watch the garbage which qualifies for news these days. Its painfully obvious your understanding of the issue is limited to what the talking heads say on TV.
Jews dont use suicide bombing because they dont have to, they can accomplish their goal of ethnic cleansing through f-16s, tanks and all the latest military hardware, while the Palestinians have to fend for themselves, refugees in their land. And dont tell me that the Israelis dont take civilian lives, they do, far more than the Palestinians ever do. Look up the numbers.
You also seem to have zero history to back up false claims....Hamas and the other outfits fighting the Israelis came after Israel invaded Palestinian terratory. As far as God is concerned, the Israelis who are mostly athiests almost always cite "God" to claim that Palestine is theirs, it is on this false premise that Ashkenazi rejects from Europe used terror and genocide to take the land from its rightful inhabitants and continue to do so.
The bottom line is this, Palestine belongs to the Palestinian people, they have every right to resist, and you would sound far less of a hypocrite if you educated yourself on the issues...start by turning the TV off.
2003-08-28

ECCOO DAMO FROM US said:
I am not concerned if palestinians care what I think Masher. From what I see in the news, I see palestinian suicide bomber targeting civilians not the military. I don't see any jewish people going and blowing themselves so they can take the lives of palestinians. The jewish military target Hamas and other terrorist and if these terrorist wants to hide among innocent palestinian people then the blame of their death lies on the terrorist. They do it name of God but I sure don't see God behind them. When most of the world hears the word muslim or islam, they see the word terrorist linked to it.
2003-08-27

MASHER FROM UK said:
Actually Eccoo, I dont think the Palestinians give a rats behind that you dont sympathize with them. Since you claim to be against to be against civilian causalties, is it acceptable when Israelis fire missles into residentual neighborhoods ? or is that Ok, because its being done by an official occupation army ?
You dont think the Ashkenazi jewish terrorists go to heaven do you ?
2003-08-26

ECCOO DAMO FROM US said:
I don't sympathize with any of palestinians because when suicide bomber targets children and innocent people they are in the wrong. Holy war in the name God? Why is it that God hasn't stepped in to help the palestinians? Suicide bombers die thinking this is the will of God, killing innocents children and people. They die and they go straight to hell.
2003-08-26

YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
Those of us in North America ought to remember that we live "within certain doom" of a rising caldera - covering an area three times that of the Dead Sea. Also, the caldera volcano (here in North America) has a reputation for regularity. Will ash-and-sack-cloth become the very latest thing, in Western fashion? I think we ought to show genuine respect (out of fear of our maker) for that which sustains us - in addition to following a sin with a good deed.

Incidently, one of the charaterstics of a caldera volcano is that its highest point - following a spectacular ejection of super heated stone up into the atmosphere - becomes its lowest point. (see Quran 11:82, 15:74, 15:80-84) I believe in the Quran - as well as the Psalms and in Allah's other books - and understand things to the extent that Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) wills that I understand them (Ameen). Subhanallah.

I am trying to learn more about Jewish blessings (and Kaddish) - currently, from 'Essential Judaisim' by G. Robinson. Please forgive me for delay in good works. Oseh shalom bim'romav, hu ya'sseh shalom aleinu v'al kol Yisrael / May the One who causes peace to reign in Heaven let peace descent on us and on all Israel. (Ameen.)

I praise Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) for the works of all those in (or concered with) Iraq - the sheiks, administrators and others - who have introduced our officers to the benefits of "respecting local sensibilities" - may Allah bless you (and yours). And who is the best of planners? Also, I sob when I hear of the rejection of "blood money" compensation - because of what seems to be the family's anger. For a little "background information" on the subject of "blood money" compensation (if you please) see Quran 4:92, ahadith, et cetera.

There is no god but One, Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala), and Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is the messenger of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'alal). Assalamu alaikum.
2003-08-25

JUSTIN TRENTADUE FROM USA said:
I just wanted to say that I wish more Americans knew what was accually going on in your part of the world. I try to stay informed but I cannot get an accurate picture while being bombarded by the American media. One thing Americans need to realize is that we are not the moral authority in the world, we do what works for us, but for some reason everyone here thinks that we are superior and know it all. I would like to send my personal empathy to all those palestinians killed in the name of expansion and western ideals. Although I wish that palestinians and israelis could live side by side it is almost impossible if those involved do not understand each other. I know that I am in the minority here in the US but I will stand my ground just as the palestinians should do, do not falter, do not waiver.
2003-08-25

ASIF ZAIDI FROM US said:
When will the wetsern governments (US/UK) realize that they cannot occupy other peoples land and kill innocent civilian in the name of freedom and democracy?

When will the western governmnets (US/UK esp) realzie that they cannot support an apartheid government (Israel) that kills innocent civilians.

Don't rush to judgement on other peoples actions without first looking at yourself?

Asif


---John said----

Comment
When will the Islamics grow up and get a grip on reality?
When will all people realize that suicide bombers are in total contradiction against God?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alternative Comment by the same visitor
Grow up all Muslims!
Stop murdering in the name of God!

2003-08-25

YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji-in. And verily - O Gott - thou art beyond comparison.

Assalamu alaikum.
2003-08-25

CC FROM USA/MEX said:
To John,
Who calls Muslims, Islamics?
I am a Christian, an evangelical, to be exact, and I have also served in the military and now I am extremely concern with islamic politics and though (religious and social). I can only tell you, John, that over the last 13 yrs that I have been aware of the palestinian strugle, I have seen Israel destroy, abuse, and murder at will in Palestine. It makes me sad that we dont hold the isrealites accountable for their crimes. We only hear about the suicide bombers on TV but have you ever wonder why they got to that point. We must ask our selves that very question, not to find an excuse for them but to understand the reason of the conflict.

P.S.
for every one israelite that is kill by a suicide bomber, israel kills three.

Think about it, what is wrong here?

I am just happy that many of my evangelical brothers are changing their attitude towards isreal, We can not keep on supporting them the way thing are going.
2003-08-25

RAJAWALI FROM TEGANU said:
'sometimes we call it the most advance technology in weaponary'
2003-08-25

YAHYA BERGUM FROM USA said:
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house... nor anything that is thy neighbor's. So what sorts of conditions might exempt us from responsibility towards that which is our neighbor's? If our neighbor responded with violence - after more than half a century of encroachment and subjugation - would such a response exempt us from all accountability for having benefited from suffering endured by our neighbor? If a number of families (who would otherwise have been considered our neighbors) were forced to abandon their homes - before our flight landed at the airport - would we in fact be considered exempt from one (or possibly more) of the Ten Commandants broken in the course of appropriating for our use the property on which the homes of our vanquished neighbors once rested? Would the number of times our ancestors were themselves forced to depart the same or proximate properties - presumably with the landlord's permission - diminish the validity of our own claim (to the ancestoral home of someone else)? Do we truly and completely fear the landlord? Do not be troubled by my words - for any words that are truly mine are completely in error.

I know not to what extent I will be accountable (by the will of YHWH) for the iniquities of my ancestors. Never the less, I have a desire - to the extent I am able (by the will of YHWH) - to remedy any harm caused by my ancestors or any harm caused by that which yielded the sorts of advantages my ancestors typically enjoyed (in this world). Admittedly, my desire to remedy the misdeeds of my ancestors is, at least partly, the product of my own fear - of YHWH - alhamdulillah (the praise be to YHWH). It would seem however that I could at least take cold comfort from having been but a descendent of those for whom I would pray who profited the most from the seizure of that which was their neighbors'.

Shalom aleichem. (Peace be with you.)

--Yahya Bergum
2003-08-24

M.MARCUS FROM UK said:
When will Zionazis like john get it through their thick skulls that you cant just cant go and steal other folks property and expect to get away with that. Racism, terrorism and genocide are all kosher to these Ashkenazi rejects from Europe.
2003-08-23

SHYLOCK FROM UK said:
Jews should do grow up and stop stealing land from its true owners the great Palestinian people. Furthermore, they need to stop killing innocent Palestinians in name of their tribal god, who they dont even believe in.
Nobody can blame the Palestinians for defending themselves from Ashkhenazi terrorists from Europe.
2003-08-23

MRMARCUS FROM UK said:
When will Zionazis like "john norman" get it through their thick skulls that you cant steal other folks property and hope nobody notices. These Ashkhenazi rejects from Europe are no better than Hitlers henchmen.
2003-08-23

WILLIAM FROM USA said:
I think it is quite clear that road map was dead at the beginning. But, I think that reason is that many Palestinians would rather live miserable lives holding on the their hate for the Jewish people, than work out a some kind of peace.

It seems to be that when ever the US does something to help out our fellow humans who are Muslum, the US is repaid with lies and violence.
i.e. Iraq, Somolia

I agree that US has not always acted in best manner in the middle east, but no country does. To me it looks like many people in the Iraq and Somolia would rather starve, fight, and hate than develop a country with opportunities and peace. It saddens me to see the people living in such a manner when there is the possiblity for countries like Iraq to be properous.

I know that in writing this that people are likely to post after me, and those post will probably consist of insults. I just wish something a bit more constructive could be done.
2003-08-23

WILLIAM FROM US said:
I think it is quite clear that road map was dead at the beginning. But, I think that reason is that many Palestinians would rather live miserable lives holding on the their hate for the Jewish people, than work out a some kind of peace.

It seems to be that when ever the US does something to help out our fellow humans who are Muslum, the US is repaid with lies and violence.
i.e. Iraq, Somolia

I agree that US has not always acted in best manner in the middle east, but no country does. To me it looks like many people in the Iraq and Somolia would rather starve, fight, and hate than develop a country with opportunities and peace. It saddens me to see the people living in such a manner when there is the possiblity for countries like Iraq to be properous.

I know that in writing this that people are likely to post after me, and those post will probably consist of insults. I just wish something a bit more constructive could be done.
2003-08-23

IBRAHIM HALAWA FROM U.S. said:
i think that these puppets collen powell they r so mean they want the muslims to say thier word in palestine 30 kids die and no usa cares but when a jew dies its like its the end of the world and then another thing is that the olny way us muslims can win is if WE ALL go back to our religion what kind of president do we have he was drunk in college and the same on his daughters then he wants no one to drink and drive oh please this whole thing is against the muslims its final they go to afghanistan and kill thousands then they move to iraq and they' ll finish "PUTING FREEDOM" yes explain that 7 year old girl that had her brain and skull sqiushed out of her head then teyll go and kill another thousand iranins then the next there are no weapons of mass destrucion but there is oil...
muslims listen the only way to win is to go back to your religion there only 10,000,000 jews and they are rich god gave you the right religion
use iti am only 12 years old.
2003-08-23

H.A. FROM PALESTINE, TEXAS said:
Here is my view... The current U.S. administration if full of zionists, fundamentalists and OIL stealing thugs. They are displaying the same characteristics that British Empire displayed in the past.

The intention of these thugs in the U.S. gov't is to steal, oppress, and spread violence throughout the globe. Unfortunately, many muslims have resorted to violence, i.e.-suicide bombing. Yeah, it is tough to sit back and see your whole towns destryed by American made bombs, but Muslims need to be patient and show the disbelievers the TRUE CONTENT OF ISLAM.

Muslims need to find alternative ways to STAND FIRMLY against injustices and oppressions. For example, more Muslims should be participating in U.S. gov't. The people of the Middle East should immediately overthrow their gov'ts who are puppets of the U.S., invite more people more the U.S. to the Palestine and make them see the situations.

In order to change the thugs into a civilized creatures, Muslims need to sow the seed of decency in the children of these thugs, exactly like the KIDS OF MECCA did in the 7th century.

MUSLIMS NEED TO BE PATIENT. THE PAST WAS WORSE THAN THE PRESENT. HENCE, BE PATIENT. STOP SUICIDE BOMBINGS. NEED TO SHOW THE ENEMIES OF ISLAM HOW TO BEHAVE, like Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did. BE PROACTIVE and Forgive your enemies.

BE PATIENT AND WORK HARD to change situations the right ways.




2003-08-23

JOHN FROM SYRIA said:
When will the Islamics grow up and get a grip on reality?
When will all people realize that suicide bombers are in total contradiction against God?
2003-08-23

SYED FROM CANADA said:
How the truth of the so- called "Road Map" and the anguish of an oppressed people is so well expressed! Even a hard stone will struggle to put justice into effect but not so a small section of humanity. To them injustice, oppression and brutality form their staple food, air and water with which they exist. Surely, as the sun and the universe exist, the Supreme Creator will call it a day one Day to bring about his absolute Justice and Mercy into play. That Day everyone will be on his own, Believer or non-believer, at His Creator's Mercy.
2003-08-22

SHUJA FROM UNITED STATES said:
We should condemn the process of road map to peace, we should all condemn the Pakistani initiative of recognition of Israel. Muslims should make up their mind, peace or Israel. Choice is clear. How can we recognize the rule of Dajjal, the future King of Israel? Anybody who recognizes Israel is in effect recognizing Dajjal. It is haraam. These are not emotional rhetoric. These are the facts. Shuja
2003-08-22

RICHARD FROM USA said:
I feel that this article was correct in its assesment of the situation in the middle east. The United States supports the zionist 100%. There is paid programming in the US by Christian groups calling for increased support of Israel. They call for the Temple of Solomon to be rebuilt at all costs. The US government doesn't desire a Palestinian State. They desire the total destruction of it and all Islamic countries. The US president is a hypocritical evangelical christian that is on a crusade. The man has stated in the past that "god" told him to do these things. I've ranted enough.
2003-08-22

MOHAMMAD FROM USA/PAKISTAN said:
It should have been evident after the failure of the Oslo accord that the Isralei Government is not interested in giving up land they occupy. But I guess the common Palestinian (or at least the international community) wanted to dream for a while. We need to understand that the Israeli Government gets billions of dollars of Aid from the US based on the premise that its existence is in perpetual danger because of its Arab neighbours. If the Israeli government were to solve the issue of Palestinian violence against its citizens, then there would be no basis for continuation of that aid. The US response to palestinian violence sounds retarded at best. Anyone with an ounce of brain intheir head knows that the Palestinian militant groups had agreed to a cease fire, provided Israel stopped their assasinations. Was that too much to ask for a few months. But what could you expect from a country being ruled by a indicted war criminal. The Palestinians need to understand that no one in this world will help them but themselves, not the Saudis, not Europe, and especially not the US. Freedom is never lost through accords and agreements and it can never be gained thorugh peace accords and agreements. We all know what happened in Lebanon. It is sad that a whole generation of PAlestinians and Israelis is being sacrificed by stupid politicians.
2003-08-22

MEBROCKY FROM USA said:
The article is right and fair. Although I sometimes criticize Mr. Baroud's articles, this one is right on the money. I am profoundly sorry for the suffering of the innocent Palestinian, and Israeli people that the administration of my country has not helped, and in many cases made worse.
2003-08-22

ZENA FROM USA said:
it is very sad that there is so much truth in this article. it is regrettable that the bombs that echo in American ears are those of the suicide bombers. it is regrettable that those bombs kill children. it is unrealistic to expect only one side to value the life of the other sides children. US media characterizes Palestinian actions as terror and Israeli actions as "defense". as long as this distinction exists, there is little hope for peace. i wonder when the US will enforce the UN resolutions violated by Israel as it did those violated by Iraq. sadly, there is little justice in this world.
2003-08-22

D. BERGLUND FROM USA said:
Your bias is showing. As for Mr. Powell, he probably mourns the loss of American citizens killed by cowardly bombers that seem to violate the Qurans "do not murder innocent people" statements.
2003-08-22

ABDULLAH SHARIF FROM CANADA said:
The Road to peace is illusory, not because it cannot be believed in - no! It is because, apart from Palestine and Israel, there are those behind the scenes who have a vested interest in seeing the violence continue. Many have forgetten, that war can make good business, war is profitable - especially when there both sides are supplied.

There is little doubt about Israel's racial and expansionist ideologies which will continue to grow ever more belligerent and homicidal with each passing day. In fact, zionism has adapted nazi ideology and its implementation quite well, to the point that it is vitually in-distinguishable. Palestinians, will continue to blow themselves up, the rationale being; that there is no other way to deal with such an agressor. Both countries full of hate, freely supplied by arms dealers and other private interests, while the rest of the world wallows in propaganda.

As Muslims throughout the world we must give strong advice to our Muslim bretheren in Palestine, and to let them know that they have not been forsaken. Those who continually agitate in order to invoke Israeli military response are in fact, acting as collaborators against their own people, and would do well to consider what they are helping Israel to do.

Lastly, All Muslims and people of conscience, must work to stop the U.S and other countries from suppling multi-billion dollar funds and arms to Israel, and stop them from talking from both sides of their faces, and expose them to public view.
2003-08-22

USMAN FROM USA said:
Bravo!! An exceptional article letter to Secretary of State. Truly from the heart that touches the heart. The frustration over the Palestinian and Israeli issue can only be fixed if USA held Israel accountable as well. This is a religious war against the muslims. Only through the persecution of the palestinian muslims can jewish people live in Israel through which the self fullfilling prophecy of Second Coming of Jesus could be fulfilled for Christian Evangelist. Then, killing 2/3 and converting the rest to christianity. How can anything be so perverse? Evangelists are hypocrites!! As long as it serves there purpose they will be for it no matter what. Jews are the not the problem. It is the americans who support the jews are the problem. By americans I mean the government not the population. If you cut weeds, it will grow back but if you take out the roots it won't. Americans supporting the Sharon government are the root of the problem.
2003-08-22

BELQIS FROM US said:
Congratulation for the courage that you showed with the article published in iViews titled "The Roadmap is finished, Mr. Secretary". I want you to know that there are readers who appreciate the truth. Thank you for your excellent article.

Sincerely
2003-08-22

YUSUF FROM USA said:
Powell is nothing but a spineless lacky, as well as Bush. To think, the world's only superpower is submissive to the government of Israel. Everyone in the white house is just as much responsible for the deaths of Palestinians and Israelis alike as the Israelis themselves. It is completely impossible for Israel to keep all of this up without the financial and military aid from the US. People are steadily losing jobs here, rape and murder persist, hate against Muslims and Arabs grows, and each and every day America comes closer to another major attack on its soil, all due to the misguided actions and alterior motives and agendas of those in power here. With the billions that goes to Israel redirected here, how much could be acheived? Instead billions are spent to keep up Israel's war on Palestinians and to keep the governments of Egypt and Jordan obedient to the US. It's also obvious that the UN can't do anything except make laws that won't be enforced unless America sees fit. Maybe when Muslims can unite against a common foe then progress can be made. Instead you have people at one end of Jordan living well while others live in garbage. You have Saudis 'livin' it up' while next door they have a war zone. You have racism and nationalism against other Muslims. You have elaborate palaces, excesses, and lazy people complaining about 5 hour work days when next door you have Muslims working 24/7 to keep themselves alive, let alone their families. Maybe when Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, among others, can reject their annual bribe from the US then some progress can be made in other Muslim affairs. Passiveness in good people is one of the world's greatest evils. While America is acting, it's leaders are not good people. The actions of America will not benefit our Muslim problems today. It is only the actions of Muslims that will resolve our problems today. Get up, stand, stand up for your rights
2003-08-22