Duane Shank ("Road Map or Dead End?" July-August 2003) notes that the road map for peace calls on Palestinians to immediately end violence, but neglects to note that the plan also calls for "an immediate end to violence against Palestinians everywhere." While Shank writes of a "cycle of violence," he refers to "Palestinian terrorist bombings" and "Israeli reprisals." It would be equally one-sided to write of "Israel's terrorist occupation" and "Palestinian reprisals."
Shank errs in saying the plan calls for "Israel to end settlements." It only speaks of removing several dozen mostly uninhabited "outposts"; only a "freeze" is called for in the major settlements, illegal under international law, which house 400,000 Jewish settlers. Unless most or all of these settlements are removed, there can be no viable Palestinian state and, hence, no peace. Finally, Shank refers to the Israeli settlement lobby and Hamas as extremists attempting to block the peace plan. But the counterpart to Hamas is Sharon and the Israeli coalition government. That is, the extremists are in power in Israel.
The Palestinian Authority accepts a state in 22 percent of Palestine/Israel (the area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea); Sharon wants a Palestinian Bantustan in 10 percent of that area.
Edmund R. Hanauer