Talk:Road map for peace

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Suggestions[edit]

No new information appears to have been added in a year. Could someone update this? TX Ciclista (talk) 17:41, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Concerns about Style and Mechanics[edit]

The footnoting in the article is inconsistent. There appears to be two intermingled sets. One set (4 in total) refers to the "references" section while another (14+) refers to external links. Footnotes should be standardized, with one numbering scheme and all references placed under the "References" section using proper citation techniques. TX Ciclista (talk) 17:41, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

There are also changes in tense (some sentences use past and present interchangeably). I will try to edit these in the near future. TX Ciclista (talk) 17:41, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Revisions to road map[edit]

Removed original research:

  • Bush never said "Israel would retain major population centers". He did not express what would happen or what should happen, only what would realistically happen. My edit uses probably as an imperfect synonym for realistically. I only did that for stylistic reasons -- to avoid repeating the same word too many times -- but would support changing it to realistically if people think I've changed the meaning too much.
    • True. Bush is no prophet. The article has been adjusted to reflect that.
  • Bush never "discarded" this statement. The letter of April 14, 2004 expresses his opinion of where the negotiations will end. His statement of May 26, 2005 expresses his opinion of where the negotions should start. These are two different things.
    • He did discard his earlier statement. He said that his May 2005 statement "will be the position of the United States at the time of final status negotiations." Please read the quote again.
  • Similar reasoning on the right of return. However, his statement on right of return was a little more certain, so probably may not be the right word to use there.
    • On the contrary, it could be argued that "seems clear" is less certain than "it is unrealistic." ;)
  • I thought of just letting the quotes stand on their own, but we need to somehow inform the reader how those positions are different than previous U.S. positions. The quotes on their own don't do that. Chuck 03:04, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
    • If you mean how the May 2005 position differs from the April 2004 one, I agree!
The problem with original research is that it is based on interpretations not readily evident in notable sources. See WP:NOR. HKT talk 03:29, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Why I changed it back:

  • Bush didn't "say" anything. And it wasn't on April 15. It was a letter dated April 14, that was widely reported on the following day.
    • I don't know why you're mentioning this out of left-field, given that I never wrote the things that you imply that I did. For example: Why is "say" in quotes, when I never wrote that word? No need to criticize me for a non-existant mistake. P.S. If you're concerned about my edit summary, I can assure you that "remarks" aren't limited to the spoken word.
  • Bush did not "propose changes to the envisioned peace agreements", although he did for the first time express opinions on likely outcomes. Those are two different things.
    • So Bush was just writing a friendly letter to let Sharon know his speculations as an uninvolved bystander? Letters to foreign leaders are sent to communicate US position and expectations; Bush and Sharon are not pen-pals.
  • The concept of Israel "taking responsibility" for Palestinian refugees is novel. It is not what anyone has asked for, nor was it the previous position of the U.S. At the very least, that is not the phrasing we should use. What Bush did was change his position from "the U.S. has no position", to "the U.S. thinks the outcome will be" (both are paraphrases, not quotes).
    • You may find it obvious that Israel would not assimilate "Palestinian refugees," but if Bush writes it in a diplomatic letter, it becomes policy. Nobody is claiming that this wasn't his prior position, but I am unaware of a previous iteration of this position. You're welcome to search for such a quote.
  • That Bush "discarded his April 2004 revision" is your interpretation. That makes it OR. My opinion to make no comment regarding how his later quote affects his earlier quote. That is NOR.
    • Somehow, writing that Bush discarded his previous position is my "interpretation," while your assertion that "Bush reiterated the U.S. position" is undeniable fact (despite that such a claim runs contrary to evidence that Bush changed his expectations, as I mentioned above). Amazing how far this goes beyond a double standard...
  • Regarding your final point about letting things stand on their own versus making your own comments: if I had quotes regarding previous U.S. positions on borders and right of return I would use them, rather than rely on my paraphrase. Since we have actual quotes for both April 2004 and May 2005, there is no need to add your commentary. Chuck 04:08, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
    • You thoroughly misstate my final point. Quotes may be clarified when necessary, but quotes must not be amended with specious assertions. If I may use your own words: "I thought of just letting the quotes stand on their own, but we need to somehow inform the reader how those positions are different than previous U.S. positions. The quotes on their own don't do that." Cheers, HKT talk 05:05, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Bit of an edit conflict, I wrote this before last exchange: Although HKT's "discarded" is too strong a word (while "reiterated" is misleading) the 2004 letter was widely and accurately imho seen as a victory for Sharon and an Israeli desire for expanded borders, while the less reported 2005 statements, were again reasonably seen as the reverse, and a return to earlier US positions. [1]. The article should reflect this, and I will try to create a compromise version, avoiding OR with the help of this op-ed by two very knowledgeable observers. John Z 05:28, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the edits. I changed them a bit to reflect that Johnson's policies were not endorsed (nor were they unqualifiedly rejected) by most administrations. Brzezinsky likes to view his and Carter's views as "traditional American", but that's going too far. Most administrations didn't make clear position statements on borders, and some administrations were basically uninvolved with any peace process. Lack of explicit and unqualified rejection of Johnson's views by later administrations hardly makes those views "traditional American" ones (a phrase that makes Johnson's views sound like well established US policy and public opinion). HKT talk 06:34, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

First, my response to HKT's comments (in order, one for each paragraph):

  • My first bullet was because you reverted my edit changing April 14 to April 15 and referencing that the quote is from a letter, not spoken. I have no idea who originally wrote it, but you put it back.
  • Positions and expectations are two different things. Positions represent what you want to have happen or are willing to let happen. Expectations reflect what you think will probably happen. The distinction centers around whether the U.S. would push for x to happen, even if negotiations seemed to be settling at y. If the U.S. position is that some or all of the major settlements should end up Israeli territory, and Israel starts down the road of giving them up, for whatever reason, would Bush care? His quote does not necessarily imply that he would. His only position is that both sides need to agree before on the final status. This does not necessarily contradict his expectation that such an agreement will probably result in Israel retaining territory.
  • Assimilate is different than take responsibility for. Both are different than merely allowing them to return. It is possible, as one example that is not completely ridiculous, that a final agreement would allow a portion of Palestinians to return to Israel, but that they would be barred from receiving social services, which would be, instead, provided by the Palestinian State. Also, note that Arabs in Israel are far from assimilated. The previous iteration of the U.S. position on the right of return was the same as for all final status negotiations: that the Israelis and Palestinians need to work it out together. I don't have a quote off hand, but that had been the party line for any final status issue from the announcement of the roadmap to the April 14 letter.
  • The reason I used reaffirm is that the quote "changes to the 1949 Armistice lines must be mutually agreed to" is not contradicted by the quote "Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion." In one quote he says the border "must be agreed to", in the other he says that the border should "emerge from negotiations between the parties". How is that not reaffirming?
  • I don't understand your final point. Aren't you arguing against saying the new position discards the old. Help me out.

Now, regarding John's comments:

  • Previous U.S. policy was not that Israel was "obliged to return to more or less the prewar lines". That hasn't been U.S. policy since at least before the road map, if not earlier. The road map states that the Israelis and Palestinians need to work things out through peaceful negotiations.
  • How would a reader know how Bush's statement on the refugees is different than anything else from Washington?
  • Bush never said that the 1949 Armistice line should be the basis of negotiation. He only said that any changes to that line "must be agreed to". Its not even clear what the "basis of negotiation" would mean.
  • His two quotes do not need to be reconciled, they do not contradict in any way.

Now to HKT's final edit:

  • What does the Johnson administration have to do with the road map? The section is "Revisions to the road map" not "a history of U.S. policy changes vis-a-vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict". Chuck 06:53, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Chuckstar, I like your last edit of the first paragraph which avoids disputable points - it is not in the article any more but I happen to agree with the views of the 2 leading experts I cited on what official US policy has been and was, and just made a small, cited addition.

However I can't say the same for the version of the second disputed paragraph. Saying that they do not need to be reconciled is original research, and quite wrong IMHO. Brzezinski - a former NS adviser, and Quandt, one of if not the most respected expert on US Mideast diplomacy disagree with you, and see them in some kind of conflict, even if eventually somehow ingeniously reconcilable, as do I and every other commenter on the two of them I have ever seen. HKT's discard is too strong, but it is better than reaffirm, which makes it sound like the 2005 statement reaffirms the 2004 one. The standard, sourced, view is 2004 Israeli "win", 2005 Palestinian "win". John Z 08:13, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Chuck, though your talk comments haven't appeared yet, I'm OK with your latest version. I see that the comment I added to the first paragraph, and that you removed wasn't really necessary, as it repeated something I had said in the previous sentence. I think this was a signal that it is time to go to sleep.  :-) . I hope and believe HKT will like it too. G'night or morning or afternoon, whatever the case may be.John Z 09:44, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Oops, I thought I pressed save. Well, I seem to have lost them. That may be for the best, though, cause it was late and I'm not sure I was entirely civil. :) I really don't feel like retyping them all, but would be happy to respond if people have specific issues/questions. You have already identified one of them. In the other paragraph, I just thought if we disagree on what the quote means, but there seems to be a broadly accepted opinion, why don't we just repeat that as opinion, rather than claiming one thing or the other is fact. I agree in being hopeful that HKT will agree, at least in principal. Chuck 12:51, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
Seems fair to me. Thanks for the work. As far as your points above, Chuck, maybe I'll get to them later (though it doesn't seem like there's much point to it now). When I reverted your edits before, I didn't notice that I changed the date (I was also pretty tired), but I wasn't making the claim that Bush's statement was written. In any event, lack of sleep can affect critical thinking (obviously). Sorry about that, and I'm glad to have this cleared up. HKT talk 15:12, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
Cool, thanks for a lively discussion, guys. HKT, I'd like to think my comments are insightful, but there's probably not a huge rush to read them or to comment on them, since we seem to have found that magical wiki land of consensus. :) Chuck 15:50, 31 August 2005 (UTC)


Just a small correction: I believe that President Carter was the first US President to call for a Palestinian State. He said it during a "town hall meeting" in Massachusetts, I believe. I can find a citation for you if need be.

Does anyone know who did what to whom after the militant groups agreed to a ceasefire? This article is vague about who actually violated the ceasefire and when. --Fiolou 13:04, 21 May 2007 (UTC) fiolou

Bush statements[edit]

"On April 14, 2004, President George W. Bush wrote a letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon seeming to herald two significant changes to longstanding U.S. policy which had most recently been embodied in the road map. For the first time during the road map process, Bush indicated his expectations as to the outcome of the final status negotiations. The letter was widely seen as a triumph for Sharon [2], since Bush's expectations seemed to favor Israel in two highly contentious issues."

I must not have read these sentences clearly before, because there are several critical problems with them.

  • "...seeming to herald two significant changes to longstanding U.S. policy..." This is utterly false, and this article need not assimilate the well established biases of Brzezinsky and Quandt. Giving land to Palestinians was a non-issue until the administration of George H.W. Bush and the Madrid Conference in 1991. Johnson was referring to giving land back to Egypt and Jordan, not to giving land to Palestinians. The land issue with Egypt was settled during Carter's administration, and Jordan emphatically refused return of the West Bank. The concept of Israel conceding land to the '49 lines is highly novel, and the world was shocked in 2000, when Clinton mediated at a proposal by Barak to concede the vast majority of the West Bank and all of Gaza to the Palestinians, excluding the largest Israeli population centers. It was not only shocking for Israel to offer that much land, but even for the US to suggest that Israel do so. The Bush letter wasn't "widely seen as a triumph for Sharon," as the Washington Post editiorial suggests, but it was generally expected to be US policy after the Barak proposal. "Longstanding U.S. policy" was the non-recognition of a Palestinian state; it was George W. Bush that altered this policy by being the first US President to explicitly call for the establishment of such a state (though one could potentially argue that this was the unspoken policy of the US for the past 14 years). It's nothing but rubbish to claim that Israeli concession of all land to the '49 borders would constitute longstanding U.S. policy. HKT talk 20:58, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

Several points - Mainly, these sentences just do not say what you are reading them to say, and most of the arguments you mention, and I counter below are just not relevant to the issues You are of course right that the older US policy favored return to Jordan, but the phrasing does not imply this or anything incorrect - the key point is that US policy favored Israel returning lands to Arabs, not to which Arabs. That Bush's letter to Sharon was a significant change to US policy and seen as an unexpected Israeli triumph was universally commented on - from everybody, right, center and left; Zionist and anti-Zionist - do you have any source that says this was not the case? It was the first time ever that US policy seemed to explicitly rule out full withdrawal. Do you have any source which says such a thing was expected after Barak's proposals? I'll try to modify it as best I can to make it more clear, anyways.

The date of when "giving land to the Palestinians" became an issue in international diplomacy is in the mid 70's, while Israel had preferred it as early as 1968, with the Allon Plan giving some land to them. US support of this idea is quite complicated. At the very latest, for the US it became an issue with 1988 commencement of US-palestinian dialogue under Reagan, even earlier, the 1982 Reagan plan, initially accepted by Arafat, and the negotiations for the planned 1978 Geneva conference stand out. (Basically, it appears that there would have been a Madrid style conference, with Israel and Palestinians sitting down 13 years earlier.)

That King Hussein ever refused return of the West Bank is strange (why?) and simply false - he frequently rejected return of parts of the West Bank, but he never rejected it in toto, because it was never offered it in toto, even with minor and mutual boundary adjustments, a la 242, which Jordan was the first of the states involved in the 67 war to accept. That Israel would move back to (roughly) the 49 lines is not novel; it was explicitly and very emphatically stated in immediate postwar US diplomacy (The Rogers Plans, the Jarring initiative). The only novel thing, which elicited puzzled comment at the time, was why Bush mentioned the 49 lines instead of the very similar 67 lines always mentioned before as the basis.

The 2000 Barak proposals were only shocking to a portion of the people of Israel and some supporters elsewhere - they were at most nothing but what the rest of the world had been strongly favoring in the UN for many, many years, with only the US government as a partial exception. Longstanding US policy was not to recognize a state which did not exist in fact, not "a policy of non-recognition" along the lines of the Stimson Doctrine, but the article did not imply anything of the kind.

It is not really relevant, but that Brzezinski and Quandt are notably biased is not well established, and imho not true, as they are both very highly respected experts, the second being probably the most respected academic expert in this field - You can find positive comments about him by people ranging from Karsh to Finkelstein.John Z 22:50, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

Why...[edit]

..is there a statistical background section ? All of this information belongs in other articles. Sean.hoyland - talk 08:54, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Although I've written part of that section I think Sean is probably right. It'd be nice for that information to be somewhere on wikipedia though - maybe moved to the West Bank page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 155.198.13.113 (talk) 09:57, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

The Iran part[edit]

That looks really biased and unessacery, seems like a pro-israeli have written it to discredit Palestinians and Iran. It lack sources too, its should removed since it is cleary NPOV.NPz1 (talk) 16:33, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Knesset's conditions[edit]

This section could do with some cleaning up. For instance, the numbering doesn't correspond to the numbering in the document, and some points are cut-and-pasted rather arbitrarily. Perhaps this could be summed up in prose? Ideally, by a secondary source, since I'm sure this is a contentious issue. Ketil (talk) 12:39, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Start and deadlock[edit]

Just to explain my edit here, the violence after that visit began with attacks on Israelis by Palestinians. While I'm not objecting to the removing of the term 'terrorist', I think "mutual violence" suggests that both started attacking the other simultaneously, which isn't true (and which isn't what the rest of the paragraph says). -- 128.240.229.68 (talk) 10:09, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure its as obvious as you state that the Palestinians started the attacks as Bush left. This article http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/jun/05/israel2 describes Israelis raiding a Palestinian camp as Bush was leaving the region. I'd also prefer to see the Ariel Sharon quote stating a settlement feeze was impossible remaining too - that section has been in this article for years without complaint and is an important reflection of Sharon's view. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.44.224.75 (talk) 20:33, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

The Roadmap in the peace proces[edit]

I replaced part of the article that was beyond the scope of it. --Wickey-nl (talk) 15:05, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Reform of PA Culture POV or just badly written?[edit]

The Reform of PA culture section has quite a POV statement saying that Arafat "died in mysterious way.". Is this POV or not? Although his death can be seen as mysterious i'm sure that not every major source see's it that way and as such it is an opinion. What do others think? 82.20.70.162 (talk) 17:26, 14 January 2014 (UTC)