Gingrich: U.S. should abandon roadmap in the quest for peace
The Republican leader argues that the U.S. should freeze diplomacy until the PA cracks down on terror.
The U.S. should abandon the roadmap in its quest for Middle East peace, former House speaker Newt Gingrich argued in the recently published summer edition of the Middle East Quarterly.
In a paper entitled, "Defeat Terror, Not Roadmap Diplomacy," the high-profile Republican leader insisted that civil negotiations and Oslo-like diplomacy should not continue until the Palestinian Authority dismantles all terrorist infrastructures.
"Diplomacy is important and has a vital role to play, but its function must be different than the Oslo process and the roadmap suggest," he wrote. "The focus on Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy cannot work when one side has a leadership that does not deliver on its word."
Gingrich argued that diplomacy in face of violence "is the wrong answer because it puts the wrong people in charge of finding a solution." "Diplomats, by their nature, believe in talk and in paper," he wrote. "They value meetings and agreements. But in order for diplomacy to work, negotiators must be honest brokers willing to keep commitments.
Diplomacy should not be used as political checkmate while one side keeps its word, and the other side willfully disregards its promises to gain political advantage.
The roadmap, developed by the Bush administration during early 2003 in cooperation with Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations, makes clear that all sides must make tangible steps towards a two-state vision. But, it was a product of a period of failure now past. It is time to move on."
In a neatly outlined argument, Gingrich also urged for less Israel Defense Forces restraint and a more aggressive military response to attacks on Israeli civilians. He tries to put Israeli casualties in context of the American population and insists that the IDF response has been far more restrained than that of the US in its war on terror.
"When a neighborhood shelters terrorists, it should not be surprised at a violent response," he insisted. "When a rocket or mortar is fired from a neighborhood, people should expect retaliatory fire. When someone advocates killing Israelis, they should expect to be killed by those they plan to kill."
Gingrich also argued that the roadmap should be replaced with a "carrot and stick approach" that encourages peaceful activity for the Palestinian people.
"The primary requirement for peace should be the destruction of the terrorists," he wrote. "This inherently is not a diplomatic task. Smoke and mirrors will not work."