Off the Map

From Holden:

George W. Bush, Washington, DC, March 14, 2003:

America is committed, and I am personally committed, to implementing our road map toward peace. Our efforts are guided by clear principles: We believe that all people in the Middle East — Arab and Israeli alike — deserve to live in dignity, under free and honest governments. We believe that people who live in freedom are more likely to reject bitterness, blind hatred and terror; and are far more likely to turn their energy toward reconciliation, reform and development.

“Ask President Bush” event, Nashua, New Hampshire, August 30, 2004:

Q (Inaudible) — and I share their curiosity — oh, thank you. How can Ariel Sharon, as you’ve said, be a man of peace if he causes death and torture among innocent Palestinians every day? How can Ariel Sharon be a man of peace if he fits your definition a terrorist? I’d be curious to hear how you plan to carry out the two-state solution.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, good. No, that’s a great a question. First of all, Ariel Sharon is defending his country against terrorist attacks, just like we will — (applause.) He has made the conscious decision that a Palestinian state is in his nation’s best interests. He’s made that decision. Now, how do you — the right question is, how do you carry out the two-state solution. That’s what we have the road map for. The road map says, here are the steps necessary in order for a Palestinian state to emerge.

[snip]

And so the real challenge is to not only stay on the road map, which is institution-building — and, by the way, there’s also a commitment to fight off terror — but it’s for leadership to emerge that is committed to the aspirations of the people.

Ariel Sharon is a duly-elected official in a democracy. In other words, Israel is a democracy. (Applause.) We would hope that the Palestinians would have that same kind of democracy which would lead to a more peaceful world.

Ariel Sharon, Jerusalem, September 15, 2004:

Asked about a proposal by the opposition Labour Party that evacuation of the settlements should take place in tandem with the road map, Mr Sharon said he viewed the road map as dead.

“This would have brought Israel to a most difficult situation. I didn’t agree to this,” he said. “Today, we are also not following the road map.’

Little Scottie McClellan, Big River in Africa, September 15, 2004:

Q Scott, Prime Minister Sharon says Israel is not following the road map and may stay in the West Bank long after the Gaza pullout. Has he communicated this to you?

MR. MCCLELLAN: I saw a media report to that effect, and I don’t think that accurately reflected what he was saying. Prime Minister Sharon has reaffirmed his commitment to moving forward on his bold proposal to move out of the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. That is a proposal that can help get us jump-started again on the road map, which is the path toward the President’s two-state solution. And so that — I think that is what the Prime Minister is talking about, is moving forward on his disengagement plan.