In his opinion piece, Yossi Beilin writes, "It is completely justified to demand that Abu Mazen merge the Palestinian security forces into three organizations and collect unauthorized weapons... The U.S. should demand of Sharon that he fulfill his commitments regarding the unauthorized outposts and a settlement freeze. He should also be asked to define exactly what the legal status of northern Samaria will be after the settlements are evacuated from that area." In effect, Mr. Beilin is arguing that Israel be compelled to take substantive steps to fulfill its end of the Road Map while the Palestinians avoid the necessary Phase 1 task of undertaking "visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere." Unless terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, among others, are dismantled, they will continue to pose a formidable obstacle to the peace process. The Hamas terrorist group's charter declares, "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up." Any final settlement would require that a Palestinian state accept Israel's existence. As this would run counter to Hamas' objectives, Hamas would almost certainly employ terrorism to try to thwart the final settlement. Thus, the sooner the terrorist groups are defanged, the better. Even if the step is a difficult one, it is a necessary one. President Bush should insist that Phase I obligation be fulfilled.
Iran's oil exports to South Korea quadruple to 400,000 barrels a day after sanctions lift (Reuters)
from the article: If Bush is really serious