At least 16 people have been killed in Jerusalem after a Palestinian militant blew himself up on board a bus in the city centre.
Shortly afterwards, Israeli helicopter gunships blasted a car carrying two Palestinian militants in Gaza, killing the occupants and at least five bystanders.
US President George W Bush said he "strongly condemned" the Jerusalem bombing, and called on "all of the free world" to help prevent further killings.
The Jerusalem attack comes a day after the Palestinian militant group Hamas vowed to avenge an Israeli missile strike on one of its leaders, Abdelaziz Al-Rantissi, in Gaza.
Can the roadmap continue on to be successful after this? How will the new developments affect the peace process?
The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:
Yes! And it's easy. Forget those who are rooting for one or other side. The solution lies with the vast majority in the middle who simply want peace. Sadly they are the meek - too afraid to fight the armed extremists on both sides who want "to win". The answer lies in getting them to unite against the extremists and capture the peace. What will unite middle ground Israelis and Palestinians? The principles not too difficult; just look at the way Jews and Muslims in the UK have instantly united against proposals to ban, on the grounds of cruelty, the religious slaughter of animals.
The solution lies with the vast majority in the middle who simply want peace
The USA should make continuing financial and military aid on Israel dependent on its withdrawal to its 1967 borders. It should also assemble an international peace force to suppress violent organisations in the Palestinian territories until the Palestinian government is ready to do the task.
I have to say that the peace promise will be at a standstill until all of the influencing parties involved focus on a clear goal. The fact of the matter is that every time there is violence, another family is in mourning. I see the recent events as quite threatening to the peace process.
I see the recent events as quite threatening to the peace process
Alexander Bielecki, Canada
Alexander Bielecki, Canada
Until each party adopts the concerns of the other as its own, the Palestinians and Israelis will be fighting for conditional peace. Peace comes neither through fighting nor via conditional options. As simple as it sounds, it will come only when each side is willing and committed to living peacefully.
Only Mr. Bush can keep the roadmap on track at this point. He must pressure both sides equally to keep moving. It cannot come as a surprise that extremists on both sides would like this to fail. But this decades old problem must be solved now for the sake of all in the region. Forceful and a truly even-handed effort by the US president can make the roadmap a success.
It cannot come as a surprise that extremists on both sides would like this to fail
I am afraid I have lost count. Could someone help me?
Whose turn is it to horribly murder innocent people next? I can't remember whether the last act was Hamas blowing up Israeli civilians on another bus, or the Israeli armed forces firing more missiles into Palestinian settlements.
Chris Hollett, UK
I believe the Palestinians and Israelis can live in peace and see beyond the small-minded groups that are stalling the inevitable. It is only a few people who ruin things for the majority. I feel sad and ashamed. As a Moslem Palestinian myself, I don't agree with Hamas or any of the groups that condone violence. The Road map needs time to fruition.
Micha Husein, USA
Sharon had his wish. The peace process is dead gain as he wanted it to. Israelis should finally wake up and recognize that leaders like Sharon CAN'T bring Israel peace and security. Only the end of occupation and viable Palestinian State can do that.
It has been obvious to sensible people on all sides of this conflict for many years that the only rational alternative to endless fighting is the establishment of a separate Palestinian state alongside Israel. Whether the path to this is called a road map or anything else, it must come eventually. The problem is that there are still sizeable minorities of extremists on both sides who dream of total annihilation of the other side, and will use every excuse to block the road to peace.
Rod Parkes, Hong Kong
It would seem that both sides are intent on a tit-for-tat revenge based war.
If they blow this chance then both sides should be isolated by a refusal to sanction any further initiatives until both sides have renounced violence and elected trustworthy leaders.
It is obvious that both sides have legitimate complaints and complainants. It pains me to say that like a naughty child, the more attention the region receives, the more trouble it causes.
It is obvious that both sides have legitimate complaints and complainants
Edwin Thornber, UK/Romania
Edwin Thornber, UK/Romania
Unfortunately, the roadmap has been dead since its inception. The reason for its demise is not its composition, it appears to be a remarkably balanced plan, but rather those who have been told to implement it. I don't believe that Sharon is really interested in, nor is Abu Mazen capable, of making the painful sacrifices that the plan calls for. Until both sides are truly willing to make sacrifices and deal with their radical elements no progress will be made.
Matt Leach, USA
That is sad to say but these last events don't come as a surprise. Each new hope of resolution is stabbed by extremists on both sides. It is high time Israelis and Palestinians reacted and began to clean their own backyards. That is the real first step of any roadmap going somewhere.
Thierry Donneau, France-USA
True peace must be sown in the heart. Any other "brokered" peace will be short-term at best and ultimately will fail. Unfortunately, I see no evidence of a change in heart.
Naugatuck, CT, USA
I am tired of all of the finger pointing at Israel. I have long supported the Palestinian cause, but if there is ever going to be peace the Palestinians must stop their terrorist attacks. Who can seriously expect Israel to do anything other than what it has, given its history and the constant threat it lives under? Until Arabs give up the idea of destroying Israel there will be no peace.
If there is ever going to be peace, the Palestinians must stop their terrorist attacks
Eugene, OR, USA
Eugene, OR, USA
I hope I'm wrong but there will never be peace in the region. The leaders on both sides have to much of their power vested in violence. Arafat's power is based on the ongoing struggle. And which Israeli prime minister wants to be the one to who gave up land and didn't get peace in return?
Don't forget Hamas' objective is not just to get land back. It is the destruction of Israel and Jews. The occupied territories are of strategic military importance, and Israel has tried so many times to negotiate with the Palestinians but to no avail. Does anyone remember why Israel occupied the territories in the first place? The reason was because it was going to be attacked from all sides.
Israel has tried so many times to negotiate with the Palestinians but to no avail
Francis Rodino, UK
We pay a lot of attention to the Palestinian extremists, but not enough to the Israeli ones who have no intention of sharing the land with Palestinians.
It will be a shame if the roadmap doesn't survive. It is such a good idea. Israel just needs to pull out of the West Bank and the Palestinians need to stop their suicide bombings. So easy. Why didn't anyone else think of this? Suggestions that the roadmap had anything to do with smoothing criticism over the invasion of Iraq are just scandalous.
Suggestions that the roadmap had anything to do with smoothing criticism over Iraq are just scandalous
After being sold-out by Britain, the UN and the US over the past 100 years or so, can the Palestinian people really expect much from the outside world now? Can they expect much from a US peace plan when the US is the main sponsor of the occupier of their lands and oppressor of their people?
The IDF tears the outposts down during the day, in front of the media cameras, and then they let the settlers rebuild the outposts. If Israel cannot be serious about 4 rusting homes, why should we expect them to be serious about the real thing? If Bush, Sharon and Abu-Mazen really want peace they should stop road-mapping, and apply the longstanding UN resolutions.
Giorgos Apostolakis, Greece
Peace is a remote possibility with the rejection of the roadmap and the two-state solution by the Islamist extremists, the same ones who were cheering on 9/11. Hamas and Islamic Jihad must be crushed, by the Palestinians preferably, but more plausibly by the Israelis. The extremists will continue to checkmate real peace as long as they are allowed to.
The extremists will continue to checkmate real peace as long as they are allowed to
It'll never work. The only solution is to apply the UN Resolutions. America came all out to return all the refugees in the Bosnia war. Why can't the Palestinian refugees go back to their homes and land? Jerusalem should be internationalised, and the partition plan of 1948 imposed.
Every peace plan is doomed from the beginning as long as the Middle East motto remains "violence does not work, so maybe more violence will." It is cynical, but Israel and Palestine have not yet reached the level of suffering which lead to the understanding that violence is a dead end.
You also should remember how Israel was created. Without justice there will be no peace, and stopping the violence does not mean peace at least for those under occupation.
Stopping the violence does not mean peace
I think each side must first realise the rights of the other side; The Palestinian must give up the claim to the right of return of former generations and Israelis must return to the 1967 borders with all colonies dismantled or completely integrated to the Palestinian state.
Jerusalem can be ruled by both states (with the border controlled by a UN peacekeeping).
With the US government, last month, giving billions of dollars in additional aid to Israel, indirectly supporting the illegal 140 West Bank settlements, obviously the "Road Map" is a complete sham.
Obviously the "road map" is a complete sham
The roadmap can not survive the violence. The only solution is the presence of international of troops on the ground, with or without Israel's approval. Israel has gotten away with far too much. It's time the world took a stand.
Without realistic Israeli concessions and an acceptance that the Palestinians have also the right to exist, there will be no end to this vicious circle of violence and counter violence.
The illegal settlements should be removed. Israel should show that it is keen on bringing about peace. Most importantly Ariel Sharon should go. Now that Palestine has a prime minister keen on bringing about peace, the ball is in Israel's court.
Eardley Mendis, Sri Lanka
As long as Israel hangs to land taken in the 67 war I can't see Palestinian militants allowing a settlement.
Alastair Clarke, UK
It is time to open our eyes. Palestinian Arabs do not speak with one voice, nor are their goals uniform. The Arabs that back Abu Mazen want a negotiated peace. The Arabs led by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Arafat's Fatah group want the elimination of Israel (euphemistically referred to as the end of the occupation. Until the Palestinian Arabs decide on what they collectively want, the whole world will continue to writhe in contortions trying impose a negotiated peace.
Until the Palestinian Arabs decide on what they collectively want, the whole world will continue to writhe in contortions
It's time for the US to start getting tough with Israel instead of propping it up. If Israel is illegally occupying territory that does not belong to them then it will have to hand it back. The illegal Jewish settlements will have to be dismantled and refugees allowed to return to their homeland. The Palestinians need to be forced to give up terrorism. The UK and the US don't seem to have a problem using force against other countries, so if force is needed to resolve this then so be it!
Oh no, another US sponsored peace plan. That can mean one of two things: 1. Elections looming 2. Arab support needed for another war. No one trusts the US to be fair, and no one expects the US to go out of its way to pressure its friend and ally to desist from daily atrocities. If peace between the Palestinians and Israelis was in the self-interest of the US, this forum's topic would not even exist. Let's hope that they find peace despite America.
No one expects the US to pressure its friend and ally
It can work if Israel is serious and withdraws from the occupied areas. voluntarily
Whether this roadmap works or not a solution must be found. If both sides cannot cooperate then they must be forced to do so. It's about time that
the US and Europe abandoned their softly-softly approach and came down hard to resolve this once and for all. No number of suicide bombings or Israeli crackdowns must be allowed to dominate the agenda. I think there has been enough of this mindless bloodshed and drastic action needs to be taken.
Drastic action needs to be taken
Nana Afrifa, England
The issue of Jerusalem is an important one, and it'll have to be addressed sometime, but I think the problem now is confidence-building. Israelis and Palestinians have to believe that there can be peace. Then the knotty issues can be dealt with. History suggests that the plan won't work, but history is not always the best of guides. No-one's saying it's going to be easy achieving peace but we can still hope.
The roadmap needs to work. There has been too much violence already. Both sides need to compromise, and the West needs to help. If we want to try and end Middle East terrorism, then we need to eradicate the primary cause. And at the moment, the roadmap is the best possible way.
Ali Abedi, England, UK
As an Israeli guy in his early 20's, and as an IDF soldier, I must say that the two peoples have had enough of violence. As a 20 year old Israeli guy, its not an easy thing to have to think twice before going dancing in a once blown up Disco. Or to force a military power, unwillingly, on innocent people due to security restrictions. Think how your children would have faced those kinds of problems in a modern, democratic country that only wants to give security to its citizens. I hope that our leaders will start thinking about us, the new generation. And if not, its time that the US and Europe will force the Israelis and the Palestinians to start doing so.
LO, IDF solder, Israel
I don't believe that this current roadmap will work, just as others have failed in the past. There are too many people with bad intent on both sides. Sharon will probably dismantle settlements that his government has not authorised but he will not remove the many that have been authorised by his government and governments before him. I can't see how Abbas is going to effectively control the militants on the Palestinian side either. The situation cannot be resolved.
Miriam Seshadri, U.S.A
A leap of faith will be needed by both sides but surely this represents the best chance for peace for years. The roadmap could work provided both sides are prepared to compromise. It is the best chance for the Palestinians to get their own state and for the Israelis to achieve security without the constant fear of suicide bombings.
The roadmap could work provided both sides are prepared to compromise
I am for peace. But frankly speaking, I don't think the "Roadmap" will work. Contentious issues, such as the status of Jerusalem, other Jewish settlements on the West Bank and the plight of Palestinian refugees seeking the right of return are not discussed in the summit. Also how could a peace solution work by sidelining Arafat and Palestinian resistance movements?
P.K. Niaz, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
There have been numerous Middle East plans, and while many on here are cynical because so many have failed, they should take heart that a few have succeeded. Example - peace plans with Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. Let's use that as optimistic motivation so our positivity can actually become a self fulfilling prophecy.
Soreah Sans, NYC, USA
I'm sick of hearing that this can't work because both sides need to reconcile their centuries old cultural differences. I'm originally from New York City. People with different faiths, languages, and cultures are quite capable of living together without becoming experts on the theological and socio-cultural outlooks of their neighbours. All that is required is that both parties recognise each other as fellow human beings who have the same needs and rights as any other person. It's time to stop trying to resolve centuries old arguments that lead in circles. The world's message to both parties should be simple - map out a border and stop killing each other. No more using history to justify today's crimes.
Map out a border and stop killing each other
Jim, NJ, USA
I was pleased and surprised to hear Sharon agree to the removal of some illegal settlements. This is a tremendous step and should prove to everyone that Israel is committed to peace in the Mid-East. There is a real chance for peace now. Let all the leaders step up and stop the terrorist activities.
Glen Vickers, USA
No and I hope not. This roadmap is not in the interest of Palestinians or Muslims. There are 3 million Palestinians waiting to return to their rightful land in occupied Palestine and this roadmap will not allow this to happen so how can it be the right solution? There are so many flaws and if the PA goes down this road once again they will let down their people.
Khalid Bryce, London, England
Palestine and Israel can coexist peacefully. The crisis is solvable with compromise and goodwill. An international panel should oversee land division that must include fair, equal access to agricultural and water resources.
When I was at school in Israel, in 1967, Israel was a small country. No West Bank, no Golan Heights, no Gaza or Sinai, not even east Jerusalem belonged to Israel, but on the 6th of June Israel was attacked by all her Arabs neighbours who wanted to get rid of her. People forget this fact. The Arabs simply do not want a Jewish state among them. However, we need to be optimistic and hope for a better future. We must try and never give up.
We need to be optimistic and hope for a better future
Dalia, Haifa Israel
So far the parties have only issued words and symbolic gestures. The real issue is whether the Israelis are prepared to end the squeeze on the Palestinians and dismantle their settlements.
When I was born, no one thought that Poland would ever step out from behind the Iron curtain and yet today it is stepping onto the European stage. I am sure there are Palestinians and Israelis that hold similar dreams for their nations: to enjoy a peaceful coexistence with their neighbours. We must believe in this dream and keep persisting for peace. The roadmap may prove to be only a step in the right direction, but even a marathon is composed of many steps.
The basic elements of a real peace are entirely lacking in the road map, which is simply an international dictate for a political agreement that does not require of the Palestinians any true readiness for peace with Israel.
Oh why do I get the feeling that Bush is pulling a "Nixon" on the US people? This isn't peace for the sake of peace, but it's being done with an eye on the next presidential election.
Ajana, Hong Kong (ex-UK)
As long as the US keeps treating the Palestinians as unequal partners the roadmap will not succeed. To me sidelining Arafat is a mistake that will only result in undermining the powers of Abu Mazen. The other thing is that if Israel insists that Abu Mazen cracks down heavily on the militias like Hamas, a civil war is the only result.
As long as the US keeps treating the Palestinians as unequal partners the roadmap will not succeed
Kamugisha Donald, Uganda
Jerusalem is not just a holy city; it is the soul of the Jewish nation, the centre of Judaism and the ancient capital of Israel. No one else can make such a claim. Will Muslims make Mecca an international city? Will Christians make Rome an international city? Will Greeks make Athens an international city? There are some things that are deeply engrained in a people's collective memory. For the Jews it is Jerusalem and under their control and it is open right now to anybody with good intentions.
This problem could have been solved a long time ago by Israel by giving up West Bank and Gaza which was occupied in 1967. It is still not too late to do that after so much bloodshed. It is just the matter of giving up the land for everlasting peace.
Until Muslim clerics accept their responsibility as leaders, and unequivocally renounce violence as a legitimate political means- whether in Israel, Saudi Arabia, the US, Norway (?), India, Kenya, West Africa or Asia, these people will have no legitimacy in the developed world. The Palestinians are paying a tragic price for the failure of the Arab world to confront modern political reality - without courageous leaders like Saddat and King Hussein Israel doesn't even have a partner with which to discuss the peace process.
Hate to be cynical, but the problem is so deep and there have been so many failed plans and initiatives that one can hardly be sure that the roadmap will work.
The most important thing to achieve a peace in the Middle East is Israelis and Palestinians break vicious circle of violence. I don't think the roadmap can do that. But it may be able to change the atmosphere among the people. If they think a peace is coming, all the effort will be rewarded.
If they think a peace is coming, all the effort will be rewarded
Let us not delude ourselves. Peace will be produced not by diplomacy, but by an Arab decision to accept not only Israel's de facto existence, but its legitimacy as a Jewish state. Diplomacy that allows the Arab world to dodge this fundamental issue not only invites failure, but could actually set back the cause of peace.
The old myth was that the lack of a Palestinian state was what was preventing peace. The new realization should be that Arab acceptance of Israel's legitimacy is peace, and that statehood will be a by product of ending the attempt to drive Israel into the sea.
The roadmap will not lead to a lasting peace, but it will definitely improve the current situation. Between the years of the first and second uprising, something along the lines of five people died in clashes, as opposed to the thousands in the last three years. With Jerusalem, why should any side have exclusive rights to it? Make it an international city while moving political centres to Tel Aviv and Ramallah respectively. Let Jerusalem be a holy place to all uncorrupted by political bickering.
It is not impossible... Peace can be achieved if both sides stops the violence, if Palestinians, even the resistance, feel confident that Israel is serious about peace they will seize the moment and start building their country, and this will take all their effort, no time will be left for violence.
Karim Nashaat, Egypt
Is it wrong to say that I have lost interest almost entirely on this issue? Has anybody else come to the same conclusion that no matter what happens, there will always be violence? While I praise Bush for being yet another US president to attempt something, I won't hold my breath waiting for that white flag to be flown on both sides. Hopefully my pessimism will be proven wrong.
As long as people use religion as an excuse to justify destruction, peace will be difficult if not impossible to attain. This psychology must be addressed by elder members of both communities so that the fire of youthful passion may be directed towards more positive constructive goals, but as with anything it is easier said than done.
It has to work. The alternative? Continued occupation? When will the settlers see the writing on the wall? When Iran goes nuclear? When the aid agencies all pull out? When Palestinians have all become radicalised? When Israelis are no longer able to visit Europe? When the International War Crimes Court finds them guilty? When fundamentalist Islam is attacking world targets regularly? Give the Palestinians the West Bank (including the water sources there), '67 borders, empty the settlements - give them to the refugees and let's get on with some real peace instead of all this militarism and terrorism/resistance. Enough!
It has to work
Angela Godfrey, Jerusalem, Israel
Angela Godfrey, Jerusalem, Israel
I lived for many years in Iran, but when Israel declared independence I was kicked out. There was not much protest at the time but in retrospect it was ethnic cleansing of the country. Now Israel is being forced to again ethnically cleanse the areas of Judea and Samaria. If the settlements cannot stay and Jews and Arabs cannot live together, without forcing almost a quarter of a million Jews to relocate there will be no peace.
Also why don't the Palestinians have to remove their settlements within Israel?
Youssef Nematolla, USA
The only way the roadmap can work, is if the US uses its diplomatic and financial power to convince Israel to immediately and unconditionally abandon its settlements program. President Bush needs to make clear, that an end to the settlement policy is an essential first-step down the long and bumpy road to peace.
Ross Glen, USA
There will never be real peace when the Palestinians want to completely eliminate Israel.
Mary Lincoln, USA
The Intifada began because of serious and very real violations to Palestinian human rights, and as long as there are refugees imprisoned in the camps, and settlements being built on internationally recognized Palestinian land, there will be no peace, just an appeasement.
The only way that peace can be established in the Middle East is to have a unbiased mediator. America should keep out of the region for the sake of justice and peace.
Joseph Oladosu, UK
The plan is impractical. Where is the water to come from to support this new state? The land? And, most importantly, the room to accommodate floods of Palestinians exercising their rights of return.
It's all pie in the sky.
The plan is impractical
Israel is expected to make all the concessions and give away its ancient homeland -- promised to it by the League of Nations, for what?
A promise to end terrorism?
Jerusalem is the historic capital of Israel and should not be divided.
Can you see Arabs dividing Mecca or Medina?
It is interesting to note that everyone is so concerned about what Israel has to give up. Are they not forgetting how much the Palestinians have lost since 1948? Since then the US have sponsored the Israeli expansion, with only word to try to stop them. If the US is serious about getting this sorted out they should stop propping up Israel and let it stand buy itself.
Jonathan Williams, UK
The 'roadmap' does not address the issue of the millions of Palestinian refugees. Neither does it address the issue of Jerusalem and its holy sites (for both Jews and Muslims), nor does it address the issue of the thousands of settlements in the West Bank. Without addressing AND solving these issues first, any discussion about the implementation of the 'roadmap' will soon be relegated to the back pages of newspapers and suicide bombing will be making headlines again. Neither Israeli nor Palestinian people will compromise on Jerusalem and the return of Palestinian refugees. Solve these issues first, then we will talk about the 'roadmap' and 'peace'.
Only once the Palestinians (and Arabs) have a new mindset sincerely viewing Israel as a legitimate country to be lived alongside, not ideally to be destroyed, will peace be possible. Most of he Arab world has shown an ongoing blind hatred of Israel. A real change of heart must first occur.
Ron Gang, Israel
The road map can't work if the moderate section on both sides are not working together to bring about peace to their region. Right now the Palestinian/Israeli militant/fanatical elements are more determined than the moderates to dictate what Peace is.
Terrorist have often used the Arab Israeli conflict to justify their evil act. Extremist on both side are poised to sabotage the road map at all cost. Peace between the Israelis and Palestinians is hated by those who have, since 1948, profited from the conflicting situation. They don't want to loose their influence and following they have through out the world.
Extremist on both side are poised to sabotage the road map at all cost
Nkenglefack Pius Apundem, Cameroon
Nkenglefack Pius Apundem, Buea, Cameroon
I say pick ten Israeli women and ten Palestinian women randomly from a pool of volunteers and let them map out a plan for peace in the ME. After all, they are the ones losing children and the men in charge have failed to achieve anything but violence. Maybe it could be a model for us all.
No road map will work until Israel respects UN resolutions 242 and 338 and leave the occupied territories to its 1967 border.
Nasir Hameed, UK
It depends what you mean by "Work". Each side has its definition. For the Americans working means temporary quiet long enough to help get Bush re-elected. For the Europeans it means placating the Arabs as much as now possible, with an eye to the future. For the Arabs it means an opportunity to rearm, regroup and continue terrorism activities without Israeli interference. For the Israelis, it means elimination of terror and economic improvements. It is likely to work for everyone except Israel.
Israel Dalven, Israel
No this roadmap will fail. It will not solve the present impasse and the conflict will last for a long, long time. The roadmap will have to begin from the starting block of 1967 demarcation and boarder line .When you have excepted this starting point talks will move with credibility once the UN resolution of 1967 is implemented.
Sikkander Batcha, Hong Kong
It is not the best of plan, but at least it's a step forward in the right direction. Let's hope both sides give it enough time to stick it out.
No! It will not work. The parties involved require a cultural modification.
Deekayp Atel, Tanzania
Bush's trip to the Middle East has more to do with cooling things off at home: WMD, Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden, the Mullah Omar, etc. The "roadmap trip" is an obvious attempt on the part of the Neo-Conservatives in Washington to draw public attention away from all their recent failures. Fact is: the Neo-conservatives have not accomplished anything; Have they?
The "roadmap trip" is an attempt of the Neo-Conservatives to draw attention away from their recent failures
Roadmaps are products of Western/American culture which seeks to find quick fixes to thousand-old complex problems. First, both sides to the conflict have to fully accept each other's existence and full right to a sovereign state. They should not hope that one day either Israel or Palestine will disappear. Both should stop looking for strategies to eliminate each other. Both people are there to stay in the same neighbourhood with little space and even less water to share.
Jews and Arabs have to realize and study their cultural roots. One day perhaps the two religions and people will find out how close to each other they are. If they find out they share a tradition, perhaps they can find a way to share the land.
This plan does not address the most critical ills of the Middle East. Dictatorships in all Arab countries, slavery in Sudan, Arabs denying Kurdish independence, Suni and Shiites hating each other, oppression of ethnic minorities in Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria's Berbers, terrorism hailed as a way of life, economic depravation of the masses by the unelected rulers, just to name a few. Without solving these first there will not be an atmosphere of good will on the Arab side for getting along with their Jewish neighbours.
Everyone talks about Arabs returning to their land, what of the half million Jews kicked out of Arab lands in 1948... When the dead Sea Scrolls were found in Israel, they were written in Aramaic and Hebrew, not Arabic.
Bob Lang, USA
Peace in the Middle East? That'll be the Eighth wonder of the world┐
Abdul Kiamp-Kamara, Sierra Leone/ USA
It is time to look at the crisis in the Middle East realistically. The international community must impose a solution based on all UN resolutions to achieve a just and comprehensive peace settlement. All prior peace initiatives failed and the Roadmap is no different, only the names of the players changed.
The international community must impose a solution based on all UN resolutions
Masad Zakkak, USA
If the US makes a strong enough push, and things get going (even reluctantly), public opinion on both sides will gradually become less extremist, forming a positive feedback loop.
Chances are better than they have been for a long time, probably even better than after the last Iraq war. Palestinian extremists haven't achieved anything by violence, have lost a lot of people and a major sponsor. Israeli extremists won't get help from the opposition when Sharon pays tribute to just Palestinian claims. The long term stability of any solution will probably depend on how much Bush is ready to press Israel into concessions for its own good and at the expense of extremist settlers.
When George W. Bush says something, he means it. If he says he wants a Palestinian state by 2005, he will do everything in his power to make it happen. Where Clinton, the United Nations and the rest of the world have failed, this simple man from Texas just might succeed.
Whilst desperately trying not to sound like a doom-monger, I fail to see how the so-called roadmap can possibly truly succeed with President Bush behind the wheel when there is such an incredibly powerful Jewish lobby in the States. Are the Israelis going to come out of this worse off than they are now? Probably not.
I fail to see how the so-called roadmap can possibly truly succeed
Sun Tzu (BC 500) the author of the book "the art of war", wrote; No occupying power will ever win the Israelis must understand this and understand that there can never be piece whilst they occupy Palestinian land. The ottomans tried to occupy Arab land for 600 years and they still had to leave! So tell me; If someone wanted to take over part of your land and force you out from your home, would you give up your rights?
Malcolm D. Copson, Dubai, UAE
I am spending a week here in Ramallah, as I sit here there is total closure of this capital of a Palestinian state, this is one day after the so called lifting of closures. They have even stopped Richard Gere at the Qalandia checkpoint, what danger is he? The Israelis say one thing publicly, whilst all the time humiliating the Palestinians.
Tony Richardson, UK
Unfortunately no peace plan will work until the Palestinians realise that Israel will not give them Jerusalem and will not accede to the right of return. The Arab world is virulently anti-Israel/Jewish and will not be satisfied or appeased until Israel no longer exists. How can they then expect Israel not to react when their very survival as a nation/people is threatened by daily acts of murder and terrorism?
The peace process can never work, since the PLO and it's terrorist network will never accept the Jews in any part of the region. They will say peace for land and soon they will start the war again for the remaining land!
Christian Sutinen, Ireland
Where there is life there is hope.
Thousands of civilians have died on both sides.
Such inhumanity. Let's give peace a chance.
Let's give peace a chance
Any plan which has the endorsement and commitment of both the Palestinian and Israeli people will work. The real enemy of both these people, as it is for the entire world, are those willing to commit violence against others to attain their ambitions, regardless of whether their violent acts are justified in the name of revenge.
The roadmap retraces a route already travelled and is destined to fail. Instead of saving the two most contentious issues for last, Jerusalem's future and the refugee question should be settled first!
Gary Sacco, USA
Can the "roadmap" work? I doubt it. Peace will not be achieved until both the Israeli and Palestinian PEOPLE believe in it.
Pete, NYC, USA
Has there ever been peace in the Middle East? I honestly do not know - there hasn't been peace during my lifetime. I don't think there will be either. The area contains too much religion and not enough humanism.
Steve Baran, USA
How can the roadmap work? Israel has to give up so much and the Palestinians so little in comparison. The problem lies with the fact that Israeli extremists have taken so much, and the Palestinian extremists have resorted to such extreme measures, that both sides can see no compromise. If peace is to ever to exist then Sharon and Arafat both have to be excluded, so do any other extremists.
Israel has to give up so much
H K Gadhia, Denmark
Too many people already want it to fail. Just by looking at this forum. Either you want Bush to fail, Sharon, Arafat, or who ever. Let's leave the politics out of it for once. Let's hope and pray it doesn't.
Patrick Duffy, USA
If it's not working by the week-end, this roadmap will have failed. However, it could be modified with a more realistic approach to timescales and an eventual just settlement. What began as a sop to world anger at the war in Iraq could yet prove to be the path to peace in the most troubled region of the world.
John M, LyneMeads,UK
It would seem that with a new, moderate PM for the Palestinians, and with Sharon finally acting in a conciliatory manner (under intense pressure from the US), the chances of success are better than at any time in the last 30 years. To those who say the Road Map is merely a smokescreen by the US to detract attention from Iraq, I would remind you that the US has been centrally involved in trying to broker peace between Israeli and Arab for decades. This is not some Johnny-come-lately effort. The only successful initiatives in this arena have come through US efforts, and this is not likely to change.
The chances of success are better than at any time in the last 30 years
Scott Gebhardt, USA
So they will meet. So they will talk. So they will shake hands. So they will issue a statement. So what?!
I would like very much to think that the roadmap will work, but what Bush and his minions fail to understand is that this conflict is so deep rooted and the ideological and religious differences are so fundamental that a peace settlement can't just be thrown together at the last minute to save face after the despicable Iraq war.
How can the "roadmap" work? Israel has to give up so much and the Palestinians so little in comparison. The problem lies with the fact that Israeli extremists have taken so much, and the Palestinian extremists have resorted to such extreme measures, that both sides can see no compromise. If peace to ever to exist then Sharon and Arafat both have to be excluded, so do any other extremists. Peace will only happen through compromise and fairness.
H K Gadhia, Denmark
The peace process must be made to work. If Israel balks America should cut all aid to them. They have been living on the US welfare system for too long. The Palestinians must curtail the killing of civilians and confine their attacks to military targets only. All settlements must go. Arafat should be retired and the religious students who do not have to serve in the military must be forced to serve their country. This move alone would force the fundamentalists to the peace table on knowing their kids would have to fight and die like other Israelis.
If Israel balks America should cut all aid to them
Frank Hackett, America
I believe that the crisis in the Middle East will never be resolved until the US proves to the Arabs its determination to achieve a just and comprehensive peace settlement. The Palestinians under the Israeli occupation don't need words and promises now. They do not trust the US.
It can work, if the Israelis empty the settlements and give the Palestinians a real state, and if they remove some of their conditions on the roadmap.
Yes, the roadmap may work provided the sincerity of purpose is there on both sides. As everything ends at last I hope the violence will end one day and wisdom and peace will prevail. Violence benefits none. The sooner the realization on both sides the better it is for middle east and the world.
The roadmap may work provided the sincerity of purpose is there on both sides
America is now trying to perform magic. The implement the roadmap today, and think that there will be world peace tomorrow. However it is only through education that people will know what to do is right or wrong. Sadly, the term education is missing in the roadmap. The roadmap may promote peace in the region for a short period of time, but surely not for long.
Godric Chan, Hong Kong
The roadmap only leads to the same old parking lot. Removing only settlements placed since 2001 ignores 35 years of Israeli brutality. Let's stop pretending Israel is defenceless and get a truly fair settlement for a Palestinian state.
Doug Troutman, USA
No. The Palestinians do not want to live with Israel. They still teach and preach the end of Israel. They want all of the land for themselves and for Jews to leave the Middle East. Stating they are for peace with Israel is just means to this end.
Ariel Sharon is not renowned for his honesty. By the same token Yasser Arafat is an equally dishonest man. As long as these two old cynical men are at the forefront of the political process, that process is doomed from the outset.
As long as these two old cynical men are at the forefront the political process is doomed
Michael Saltman, Israel
How could this roadmap succeed after the massive Israeli modifications and changes in its contents? If the US wants a roadmap to work, it should not be biased toward Israel!
Natalie Maamari, Tripoli, Lebanon.
Short of sounding completely cynical, with Bush as the moderator, how can peace work? This man represents the extreme right-wing of the Republican Party in the US. With such tunnel vision, this "peace effort" is merely another attempt at self-aggrandizement, something Mr. Bush does very well (under the guise of humility, of course).
Given Sharon's history and the extremism on both sides in addition to an American administration that has been anything but successful in its international diplomacy, I seriously doubt much will come of this. I'm also concerned that this may be another example of the United States overstepping its boundaries and practically appointing leaders that are more agreeable in areas it has difficulty with. A practice that may be very harmful in the long run.
It will be a very tough road, but I think if both sides really want peace, it think it will happen. Both sides will have to make tough choices. Regardless of the attacks on both sides, they must push ahead. It was done in Ireland it can be done here. The US can help, but needs the help of the world too to make this country and its people exist in peace. Then God will smile on them both.
I believe it will work.
Just read Sharon's comments today about the futility of occupying Palestine forever!
I never believed Sharon will accept that in my life time.
Let us all wish him luck. I think this times he means what he is saying
I really doubt it. If someone in the Israel leadership displays a substantial commitment toward peace, or someone on the Palestinian side really shows sincerity in stopping terrorist activities then both leaders will be chastised by their people. Sharon is already being accused of giving in by his people. It's sad to say but I really don't think peace will ever be accomplished between the two sides.
Charles Jackson, USA
At least the Roadmap is an attempt to forge peace between two bitterly divided sides. It is hard to see how peace can be achieved though when you have Sharon on one side and Yasser Arafat effectively on the other.
The USA is understandably mistrusted by the Palestinians given the unerring support offered to Israeli by a succession of Washington administrations. The sum of 4 billion dollars a year buys a lot of weapons. The USA alone has the power and influence to push both sides towards peace and people should get behind this initiative rather than dismiss it at the outset. Or would they prefer the slaughter of innocents on both sides to continue?
No, if history is any guide, the "Roadmap" will fail miserably. The Palestinians (and the world community in general) do not trust the United States as a neutral broker. When it comes to the crunch, the US will be on the side of Israel. Besides, the Palestinians have nothing to lose if the latest plan fails. Things won't get any worse for them.
The Palestinians have nothing to lose if the latest plan fails
Nausherwan Lahori, Lahore, Pakistan
Nausherwan Lahori, Lahore, Pakistan
Since Jerusalem is sacred to the three religions, we should consider a three-year old proposal that says Jerusalem will be under the 'Sovereignty of God' monitored by an international agreement and not part of either Palestine or Israel.
Mustafa Kazmi, USA
The Middle East roadmap will work if the UN just steps up and forces it to happen and gives an "or else" to both Palestine and Israel. So far the organisation has just become a joke that seems to have no control over anything.
Gary, Toronto, Canada
Those who believe in this so-called "road map" simply do not understand the strength of the opposition in Washington to the very idea of a Palestinian state. It simply will never happen - not while Bush and Sharon are in office, at any rate.
The Middle East roadmap for peace cannot work until mutual trust is developed. Israel has to credit the Palestinian government's legitimacy and start peace initiatives. Palestine should also curb terrorist activities by Hamas and other groups. A formal ceasefire should be announced and talks resumed as soon as possible.
A formal ceasefire should be announced and talks resumed as soon as possible
Sachin Vats, Indian/Bahrain
Sachin Vats, Indian/Bahrain
The roadmap on the surface seems promising, but I am doubtful of the practical success it will have. Religion has become such a deeply embedded factor in the conflict that any further political compromises or gestures will have little effect.
Joe, Birmingham, UK
Why not try it? It might work!
The roadmap certainly is an important step to peace in the Middle East region. It does though pose a few threats to Israeli security, which I can understand very well. But in my opinion, the first and foremost important step is the dismantlement of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in the Gaza strip. But even before this is done, the Palestinian suicide bombing and terror HAS to stop. Then there will be a fair chance for peace in the region.
Jonathan Josephs, Germany
It would be nice to see the roadmap be implemented but I feel that a lot will need to be done on both sides - especially on the Palestinian sides as surely one of the main stumbling blocks are the terrorist organisations. If those are demolished and Israel cooperate then the roadmap should work.
R. Mctavish, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
All indications suggest that both sides of the
conflict are backing away from extremism.
While this move doesn't guarantee absolute peace or
long lasting peaceful co-existence, it, at least, provides a framework for meaningful negotiation for, a peace process that has been undermined by prolonged hostilities. So far, there seems to be no other viable alternatives to the
roadmap and with determination from both sides, it will work.
There seems to be no other viable alternatives to the
No. The roadmap is nothing but a diversion from the Iraq war. It was something the US came up with at the last minute when it lost the argument on the war.
Bush and Sharon are two names that will never be associated with peace.
At every hurdle the peace process has failed and the conflict has continued relentlessly for over 50 years. Can this simple roadmap end the fighting? I'm hoping so but my head is telling me no.
Adam Wentworth, UK
On paper, the roadmap seems good. Unfortunately I think it will remain that way: on paper.
With the US already offering to help 'iron-out' any problems the Israelis have with requests that seem perfectly reasonable, it can only be a matter of time before bitterness and oppression regain their footing.
The roadmap will work when it is forced on the Palestinians and Israelis by the UN. Peace keepers and observers should also be put in Israel and the Palestinian areas to maintain security for both parties. The bloodshed has to be stopped by the rest of the world or else innocent civilians will continue to die on both sides
The bloodshed has to be stopped by the rest of the world
How can the Middle East roadmap work if one side won't agree to it without 14 "conditions"? The only solution to the problem is to require that US foreign aid be spent on building up the local infrastructure in the Palestinian areas, allowing everyone a place to live. It should also require that US foreign aid be spent on desalination plants for both sides, to reduce dependency on water from Turkey and to give everyone sufficient water resources.
Karen, Czech Republic
I think the peace plan will work provided both sides understand that there will be some sort of sacrifice required. The Palestinians will have to understand that they will not get every thing they lost. Similarly Israel can't keep everything it acquired.
Abdul Majid, India
Yes ! - It all has to start somewhere.
Come on guys do your bit, all of you, otherwise you are leaving nothing for your children, and that is against everything that you all stand for.
However the Israelis cannot expect the Palestinians to live in the shadow of the Settlements, so these must go.
Conversely the Palestinians cannot expect to go back to anywhere and everywhere in Israel - however someone has to complete the actions required for Resolution 194 and recognise the rights and give compensation accordingly.
Bill , United Kingdom
It is unlikely that the roadmap will work given the right wing nature of the current Israeli government as well as the likelihood that the Palestinian militant groups will get infuriated by the expected Israeli slowness in implementing the roadmap.
Nezar AL Abbas, Bahrain
The roadmap can work as long as the Palestinians accept that the refugees will not be allowed to move to Israel and the Israelis accept that the settlements cannot remain. The first is less likely than the latter.
I congratulate the US for putting pressure on Ariel Sharon to accept the roadmap,... keep up the GOOD work America.
I am very sceptical, that anything that has the names of Bush-Sharon on it will ever bring any kind of lasting Peace. Maybe intimidation, but no, not peace.
How can there be peace when the PA is staffed by terrorists and Hamas have stated this week (as reported by the BBC) that there is no room for a Jewish state in the Middle East?
This so-called road map is a farce. Would the British government in the 1970s have made peace with the IRA, with bombs going off weekly in London? Of course not! So why should Israel, the only Middle East democracy, concede to the murderers who have been elected by nobody?
The so-called Road Map has no chance until Israel stops putting the cart in frontt of the horse. To say that negotiations regarding the ending of Occupation will not begin until violence stops is to ignore the very reason for the violence!
Peter Hyde, Canada
The so-called road map to peace was a piece of pathetic last minute window dressing by Bush, to justify his evil invasion of Iraq. It is utterly worthless, not so much a road map as a dead end to a spiral of never-ending conflict. As long as Bush is in power, the only road is one leading to the destruction of the entire region and the States in the process.
Tony Hill, England