Condoleezza Rice, in her “Roundtable with Traveling Press” yesterday, explaining how the “peace process” got to its current state:
[W]e had to think about how to keep the discipline of the Roadmap without the constraint of the phases of the Roadmap, which is really what the
If you remember, the Roadmap had anticipated it should finish all of the phases -- all of phase one of the Roadmap, maybe some of phase two, and then you would go to phase three, which was the negotiations on final status.
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[W]hat we had to break through is the idea that this was all sequential, that you just -- you will remember that for not too long ago there was a lot of talk that until all the obligations of the Roadmap are met, we can't even talk about final status.
And then we said, well no, there had to be a political horizon, and we went through an extensive period of time in which Matt and Arshad and others were asking, "What does political horizon mean?" You were asking, "What does political horizon mean?"
Now we are really not talking about political horizon. We're talking about final status negotiations. Everybody knows what that means.
The strange idea that “this was all sequential” -- an idea that needed a “breakthrough” to overcome -- came from President Bush’s June 24, 2002 address, which specified the U.S. would not support a Palestinian state until the Palestinians (1) had “new institutions and new security arrangements with their neighbors,” after which (2) negotiations would commence for a state “whose borders and certain aspects of its sovereignty will be provisional until resolved as part of a final settlement in the Middle East,” after which (3) final status negotiations for such a settlement would begin.
Those three conditions became the three phases of the Roadmap, and President Bush’s April 14, 2004 letter to
The very essence of the Roadmap was the “constraint of the phases. ” It was precisely the plan’s “sequentiality” that imposed the only discipline possible on the process: no final status negotiations, not even a provisional state, until terrorism was dismantled.
But now the “sequentiality” has been proudly overcome -- first through euphemisms (just a discussion of a “political horizon” at a "meeting," not a "conference"), then acknowledgement of the real goal: “final status negotiations,” with a one-year deadline (or less), before even a single terrorist organization has been dismantled, and while the premier one controls the Palestinian legislature (and half the territory), and while