None of us at Power Line have been big fans of the “Road Map” to peace in the Middle East. I’ve accepted it on the theory that I, like Ariel Sharon, trust George Bush. My impression is that the “road map” has plenty of wiggle room and doesn’t commit Israel to anything unless and until the Arabs cease their attempted genocide. Which is, after all, the whole point.
But I am troubled by the fact that the Minneapolis Star Tribune has endorsed the road map, which it terms a “Promising new start in the Mideast.” Endorsement by the Star Tribune is more or less a kiss of death. The Strib starts in a reasonable way, saying that “Promising steps in the past have often been followed by devastating acts of violence by Palestinian extremists.” True enough. But the Strib continues with a truly stunning bit of moral equivalence: “Israel’s settler movement, violent in its own way, will certainly oppose Sharon in the matter of withdrawing from occupied Palestinian territory.” “Violent in its own way”? What on God’s green earth does that mean?
Whatever it means, it was no accident. The moral equivalence continues: “Israelis doubt that Palestinian leaders will or can disarm the bombers; Palestinians doubt that Sharon will or can dismantle Israeli settlements in occupied land.” So blowing people up with bombs is the same as building homes for one’s family.
The Strib doesn’t completely dissuade me, but only because I am very confident that George Bush doesn’t share the rather bizarre worldview of the Star Tribune, the Palestinian Authority and others who can find only the most subtle kind of difference between blowing up other people, and being blown up.
And it looks like Yasser Arafat’s view of the situation is closer to mine than the Strib’s, as the Associated Press reports that he is doing his best to scuttle the upcoming “summit.” Rather than comment further, it makes sense to say “stay tuned,” as we will all know shortly what comes of the present effort by the Administration.
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