The “Road Map Theater”
by Shraga Elam
May 27, 2003
There can hardly be any doubt that the so-called “road map” has no valid chance to become reality. Hardly speculating on this, even ultra hardliners like General Shaul Mofaz could vote yesterday to “accept” this plan.
The name of the game now is: who’ll be blamed for the failure?
After selling very successfully the myth of Barak’s “generous offer” to Arafat in 2000, a rehash of the same plot is being now played and the PA stands a good chance to loose the game
Still why bother with all this theatre? Why is the Bush administration pushing Israel to “accept” this rotten plan?
Bush II might not be the most brilliant politician, but still some of the people around him are for sure not fooled by the Israeli “yes”.
A possible answer can be sought in the situation leading to the Madrid Conference, 12 years ago. The most important factor for the US administration (Bush I) to push Israel to participate in this conference was obviously its desire to cash on the Gulf War II; to finance what Business Week called then “Operation Desert Market.” Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Germany, Japan etc. where ‘gently’ invited to pay the bill and war dividend. Accordingly, a huge capital transfer of hundreds of billion dollars to the US took place. As a kind of “return service” and in order to pacify the Saudis & friends, the Israelis were brought to the table in Madrid.
Once the money started flowing, the US lost its interests in the Madrid process, being aware that any “peace” in the Middle East will be a costly affair and will necessitate sharing a larger part of the loot with more countries, under the motto: “give ‘peace’ a cheque."
This was also the reason why in 1993 Peres & Co. had to work so hard in order to convince the reluctant Clinton administration to support Oslo. The US Americans were not very enthusiastic of financing this 'peace' accord in the same manner it paid for the Egypitian-Israeli treaty.
We have now somehow a similar situation. The present Bush administration looks for financing its Iraq adventure and its “anti-terror-campaign” and it has to stop the threatening massive Islamic/Arabic capital drain out of the US. In August 2002 the Financial Times claimed that since 9/11 the Saudis alone withdrew some $200 billion from their investments in the USA, estimated between $400-600 billion.
It seems that the Bush II administration leads a stick-and-carrot policy against the Saudis & Co., in which the carrot includes the “Road Map-Theatre.” The capital drain has to be stopped and be reversed, otherwise the Israelis will much sooner get a green light to finish the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and a further milestone in the reshaping of the Middle East will take place.
Shraga Elam is an Israeli journalist based in Zurich, Switzerland. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org