Sharon’s pet reporter, Ben Caspit, published the “road map bang” plan this week in Ma’ariv-Sharon’s foreign policy plan. Caspit’s “scoops,” in most cases, are test balloons put out by the prime minister, in order to see how policy ideas are accepted by the public. According to Caspit, Israel and the US will reach an agreement amongst themselves on an Israeli withdrawal to the route of the separation fence, which will be an agreed-upon border, and all the settlements east of the fence will be evacuated with US funding.

The United States will also recognize the annexation of the settlement blocs, and the annexation of the Old City in Jerusalem.

“In return, the United States will sign an agreement totally rejecting the Palestinian right of return (an achievement which we have not yet obtained from the Bush administration, even though Sharon’s spin doctors would have it that Bush did agree to this in his letter of last year), and American endorsement of Israeli sovereignty in the entire Old City of Jerusalem, while all the Arab neighborhoods in the city will be handed over to the authority of the Palestinian Authority.” Here are two important revelations by Caspit: A. Sharon is indeed planning a withdrawal from Jerusalem neighborhoods, as Kalman Gayer revealed, and contrary to the denials of Sharon’s aides; B. The claim that in return for disengagement Israel obtained the unprecedented political achievement of a complete US rejection of the right of return in President Bush’s letter, was no more than a media spin by Sharon’s associates. Caspit sees fit to point out: “It is important to note here that the Americans have not yet given their agreement to this plan. Senior administration officials listened to it with interest, made some comments but did not say they accept it or are even inclined to accept it. On the other hand, the plan appeared in an interesting and detailed form in an article in the October edition of the American journal Commentary, which is viewed as the ideological voice of the neo-conservatives, the Bush administration and the Republican party, and it aroused wide interest in the US.”

Interpretation of this paragraph: There is no chance that any US administration will adopt this plan. There is no chance that any US administration will agree for the Old City of Jerusalem to remain under Israeli sovereignty without an agreement with the Palestinians (which is, of course, an imaginary scenario).

There is no chance that the US will spend even one penny to fund the evacuation of settlements in Judea and Samaria or anywhere else (it refused to finance the uprooting of the Yamit region, even when it paid for establishing IDF bases that were evacuated from Sinai, and refused to finance the uprooting of the Gaza Strip, despite Bush’s letter). The “beauty” of this plan, if to stay faithful to Caspit’s style, is the fact that it is a “bluff” with which it is possible to feed the Israeli public prior to the elections. The danger in this plan is not that it will be implemented, but rather that the Israeli public will swallow this bluff whole, and give a renewed mandate to Sharon, who is the founder of the most corrupt dictatorial administration in the State of Israel’s history.

This ran in Hatzofeh on January 4th, 2006