A spokesman for the European Union, Javier Solana, says that the present Middle East roadmap is the only solution for peace in the Middle East. The reason that he felt obliged to say so, is that with the revival of violence in the Middle East some started wondering whether the roadmap is dead or alive.
Thus, the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat says, "The roadmap is dead, but only because of Israeli military aggression in recent weeks". While the Israelis lay the blame for the roadmap failure on "the failure of Abu Mazen to crack down on the Hamas".
But has the roadmap been ever alive?
A careful reading of the roadmap leaves no doubt, that it cannot lead to any solution of the Middle East conflict. It was never alive. It was still-born.
The only way the roadmap could lead to a solution, was that the parties would suddenly decide to resolve the conflict of their own free will. But if they could do so, then there would have been no need for a roadmap in the first place.
We have shown why the present roadmap is incapable of resolving the conflict still on 6 May 2003 (four months ago), shortly after its publication. We also suggested that the roadmap be amended to make it workable, and we also suggested a format for a workable roadmap still on 25 June 2002.
So, why do the politicals want to hang on to the unworkable roadmap?
Is it because politicians are so averse to acknowledging their failings?
Of course, the current unworkable roadmap is not the "only solution", because it is no solution at all.
Of course, it is possible to produce a workable roadmap, which would resolve the conflict. The only obstacle to that is incompetence and dishonesty of politicians and their boundless pride.
The Palestinians have shown that they can keep a cease-fire, if they see it justified. But Abu Mazen was naive to think that such cease-fire is enough to enduce the Israelis to make adequate steps towards a resolution of the conflict, or that the Americans would force the Israelis to take such steps.
If Abu Mazen wants to save the roadmap, he should "get tough" not on the Palestinians, not on the Israelis, but on the Americans and request them to amend their roadmap to make it workable, because without a workable roadmap, there is no chance for resolving the conflict. The present roadmap was never alive. It was still-born. Its only usefulness was to show the need for a workable roadmap.