Presidential candidate Barack Obama has misinterpreted a few key principles of the Road Map, an international agreement regarding the steps the Palestinians and Israelis must take for the peace process to begin and to conclude. Senator Obama spoke recently in Iowa, and his remarks have caused some consternation among supporters of Israel in America. As well they should. He stated,
"the Israel government must make difficult concessions for the peace process to restart...."
This position contradicts the key principle of the Road Map that states steps must be made by both sides in parallel. Israel is not obligated to take the first steps to restart the peace process. Sen. Obama seems to be following the Palestinian interpretation that places this responsibility upon Israel.
Furthermore, Obama ignored two other aspects of the Road Map which are conditions for aid to be sent to the Palestinian government (aid has continued for humanitarian purposes). Under the Road Map, the Palestinian government must renounce terrorism, accept and abide by all previous agreements made by the Palestinian Authority and Israel, and accept Israel's right to exist, He appears to be conditioning the resumption of aid simply on the Hamas-ruled government renouncing terrorism.
Given the fact that Yasser Arafat periodically renounced terrorism (at least in English for the international audience), yet planned and encouraged more of it in practice, such a gesture by the PA would give scant reason for comfort.