Question asked of Jerusalem Post columnists: "Do you believe the road map is still relevant? Is there a need for a new plan?" For all replies, see "Burning Issues #21 Is the road map still relevant?"
The question implies that once upon a time, the "concrete, three-phase implementation road map" (as it is more fully known) was relevant. That, however, never was the case. As Yitschak Ben-Gad succinctly summed up the problem in the title of his 2004 book, it was always the "roadmap to nowhere." Or as I counseled in a February 2003 article, Israelis and Americans should hold firm against "road maps that lead exactly in the wrong direction."
The plan was born a bureaucratic monstrosity; of its myriad faults, grown perhaps the most fundamental was its assumption that if only the Palestinians were given just a tad more of this or that, they would finally recognize the benefits of harmonious co-existence with a Jewish state of Israel. Not to have learned by now that Palestinians have larger and more aggressive ambitions than to live side-by-side with Israel implies living in a state of denial.
Due to continued Palestinian violence against Israelis, the road map to nowhere has, fortunately, not been implemented. I don't suppose it ever will be, and I sleep better in that expectation.
And no, there is no need for a new plan. The Bush administration should return to its predecessors' willingness to mediate, facilitate, and fund, and drop its overly-ambitious notions of "solving the Arab-Israeli conflict." As Irving Kristol memorably observed, "Whom the gods would destroy, they first tempt to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict." (January 17, 2007)