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The frayed road map

In the column “Divorce, Palestinian style,” (Commentary, Saturday) Claude Salhani plays the blame game with utter disregard for history.

He deplores the civil war raging between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza and claims this “is a defeat of U.S. foreign policy in the region” and that “t represents a failure of Israel’s policy vis-a-vis the Palestinian territories.”

He caps these off with an absurd statement that “After nearly 40 years of occupation Israel finds itself facing a far more hostile environment in Gaza” ignoring that Israel totally disengaged from Gaza two years ago and the hostile environment is the failure of the Palestinian Authority to dismantle the terrorist organization Hamas.

His blame of U.S. foreign policy ignores the more than 40-year history of attempts to resolve the conflict. There was shuttle diplomacy before the successful Camp David Accords in the 1970s, the failed Oslo peace process consumed much of the 1990s and in the early 2000s, there were the failed Mitchell, Tenet and Zinni commissions.

In 2002, President Bush proposed the “road map” that would lead to two states, one Israeli and one Palestinian. It called for new and different Palestinian leadership and a state not compromised by terror; a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty and a dismantlement of the terrorist infrastructure. The “road map” asked that the Arab states be counted on the side of peace and publicly denounce deadly bombings this never happened.

The only solution to the conflict is separation of the two peoples.

Resettlement is not a new phenomenon, as witnessed by the movement of millions of Muslims and Hindus as part of the partition of India and Pakistan in 1948. This solution is extremely difficult to accept and even more difficult to implement. But there is no other way.

Forebears of many of today’s Palestinians came from surrounding Arab states. The enormous land mass of these states can certainly accommodate these people. Donor countries, especially oil-wealthy Saudi Arabia, and Western nations should be counted on to establish towns, industries and resources to facilitate resettlement. Let’s get on with a discussion of this solution instead of prolonging the conflict by erroneously placing blame where it does not belong.