The key words are "performance-based." So far, it is only Israel that has been doing the performing. The Palestinians have limited their performance to lip service and meaningless gestures.
In the past, the Palestinians were happy to reduce incidents of terror in order to get the next piece of land. After they got it, the terror resumed because terror is at the center of their strategy to capture all the land. What they don't get by intimidation, they will try to take by all-out war at the appropriate time.
Phase One of the road map was supposed to be completed in May, 2003. It called for "ending terror and violence, normalizing Palestinian life and building Palestinian institutions." Since not one of these objectives has been realized, even in the "pre-road map" period, how could anyone other than a cockeyed optimist believe that the Palestinians are serious about co-existing with Israel?
Sharon has repeatedly said that moving forward depends on these steps. Yet he acknowledges the problem of continuing terror, although at different levels of intensity. So, if it is a condition for "moving forward" that the terror completely stop, but yet the terror continues, why is Israel moving forward anyway?
Doesn't he make the case against the very policy he is implementing, which includes the uprooting of thousands of Jews in Gaza (along with the evacuation of their cemeteries and synagogues)? It was none other than Sharon who urged these Jews to live in Gaza in the first place.
The flaw from the beginning has been the belief that what Israel does or doesn't do affects the conduct of her enemies, whose policy remains the elimination of Israel - by hook, by crook or by road map.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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