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Rejectionism - Whom to Blame for the Roadmap Failure?
Publication date: 2003-06-13

What is Rejectionism, and Who is to Blame for Failure of the Roadmap for Peace in the Middle East

Rejectionism is a brand new “ism” introduced by the American Administration to describe those who “reject” the Roadmap to Peace in the Middle East. It is these “rejectionists” that will be blamed for the failure of the roadmap. But is this not just another case of blaming others for one's own failings?

Yes, of course, there is a “conflict”, and it is due to the conflicting parties failing to resolve their own dispute peacefully. This has been the case for the past half‐century. But whoever takes upon himself the task of “resolving the conflict” assumes the responsibility for producing a workable solution. And, if the proposed solution is incapable of resolving the conflict, then the blame lies with the “peacemaker”. It is like a judge delivering an incompetent judgment and blaming the parties for having failed to resolve the dispute themselves.

The current version of the roadmap is defective because it fails to state clearly (a) the concrete practical goals to be achieved, (b) the steps required to achieve these goals, (c) the time limits for these steps, and (d) the means by which the parties will be compelled to comply with the requirements of the roadmap.

How can the parties have confidence in the roadmap, if it does not even define the frontiers of the proposed Palestinian State?

At first politicians talked about a “viable” Palestinian State. But what does “viability” mean? How it can be measured or assessed?

Now they introduced a new buzz‐word — “contiguous”. At present the Palestinians inhabit two discontinuous territories: the West Bank, and Gaza. Contiguity of the proposed Palestinian State can be achieved in two ways:

  1. joining the two areas by a part of Southern Israel, which would make Israel “discontinuous” (unless all of Southern Israel is given to the Palestinians), or

  2. proclaiming the Palestinian State just in one of the territories (either Gaza or the West Bank) and giving the other territory to Israel.

In either case the result will be a “contiguous” Palestinian State.

Which way do the Americans propose to achieve “contiguity”?

How can the parties have confidence in the roadmap, if they do not know where this roadmap will lead them to?

The blame for the failure of the roadmap is not with the parties, but with those who drafted the roadmap. Had the task of preparation of the roadmap been performed with due competence and honesty, it would have been capable of resolving the conflict.

Instead of blaming the “rejectionists”, the American Administration should revise their roadmap so that it would become a usable document.

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