November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website,, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

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Reprinted from

`Road map is a life saver for us,' PM Abbas tells Hamas

July 3, 2003

by Arnon Regular

Selected minutes acquired by Haaretz from one of last week's cease-fire negotiations between Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and faction leaders from the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular and Democratic Fronts, reveal some of the factors at play behind the scenes in the effort to achieve a hudna.

Abbas opened the session after hearing scathing criticism from faction leaders for his Aqaba speech in which he defined their activities as "terrorism." He began with a broad review of his two meetings with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Aqaba summit.

"After seven days we did not reach agreement in Cairo on either the hudna or the united leadership. These points were later discussed in contacts in Gaza and in my view, the two points are the ones that should be on the table."

Abbas said: "The descriptions of what happened at Sharm el Sheikh and in Aqaba are vague in parts and in some parts are inventions, so this is an opportunity to talk about what happened since the PA accepted the road map on December 20," he said. "Despite our reservations we decided not to make them an obstacle, believing that the road map was a life saver for a tiger whose head was caught in the neck of the bottle."

Abbas said "we were told that [President George ] Bush is committed to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state beside the state of Israel, so based on our saying that we are ready to try that experiment, that is what was determined."

Abbas tried to placate the faction leaders by telling them that Palestinian Security Minister Mohammed Dahlan had raised the exact same issues with John Wolf, the American monitor of the road map. He tried to explain that in the wake of the failed attempt on Abdel Aziz Rantisi's life, the PA was now insisting on an end to the assassinations.

He went on to explain his speech in Aqaba. "We did not speak of our rights but only of our commitments. Bush was impressed by that and mentioned the prisoners and settlements in his speech." On the matter of the right of return Abbas said "that right appears in all the previous initiatives, and is not under discussion now. Bush asked, if that's the case, why mention the settlements now, and I told him the settlements are happening now. The Israelis use the excuse of natural growth and I told them that according to U.S. statistics, 33 percent of settlements are empty. We said the growth should happen westward, and not on our territory."

Abbas said that at Aqaba, Bush promised to speak with Sharon about the siege on Arafat. He said nobody can speak to or pressure Sharon except the Americans.

According to Abbas, immediately thereafter Bush said: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."

Page created July 3, 2003 by Charlie Jenks