sealPurdue News

May 5, 2003

Expert talks about realities of Middle East "roadmap"

Even though there is cause for celebration over the newly created position of Palestinian prime minister, a Purdue University political science expert says "the roadmap" will not solve the differences between Israel and its neighbors.

"Disputes between Israelis and Palestinians over issues, such as the status of Jerusalem and the right of return for Palestinian refugees, involve deep-seeded suspicions about each side’s commitment to a just and lasting peace," says Aaron Hoffman, who specializes in the study of building trust between nations.

Hoffman says that the incremental strategies used by "the roadmap" are ineffective because they do not require enough sacrifice by either party especially when the stakes are relatively low to inspire the necessary confidence as the plan progresses.

"As long as Israelis and Palestinians fear that cooperating with one another places their survival at risk, efforts at confidence-building are not going to succeed. Only when both parties are certain that their existence is not at issue can the peace process produce its desired result."

CONTACT: Aaron Hoffman, (765) 420-8998,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;