The Angry Corrie 58: Jul-Sep 2003

Mapwatch: The Middle East roadmap for peace

Think of a roadmap. Whether it's on an individual sheet of paper or part of a book of maps, my image is of sharp lines against a white background with types of road distinguished by colour. Probably not a lot of detail but some visual indication of the environment to be passed through. There may be inset maps on a different scale for tricky areas like towns, and definitely a clear symbol for those motorway junctions which are for one direction only (never the one you want). A date and who has produced it are standard for any information source of this type.

The Middle East roadmap for peace has none of these. Maybe there is a pictorial version somewhere with at least a flow diagram, but the roadmap widely available on the internet (eg at consists of three pages of imageless text. This roadmap is described as "performance-based", and "goal-driven". Performance-based baffles me in the context of any sort of route plan, though goal-driven could be forced to make some sense. There is a reference to the Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli tracks but no highways or motorways or even back lanes, short cuts, or dead ends. There are no spot heights, although benchmarks are mentioned.

Still, if it gets them all where they want to go then that's fine, but I'm glad I'm not the driver.

Val Hamilton

Other roadmaps in the same series:

Northern Ireland roadmap (available in orange or green cover)

Brown-Blair roadmap (special Euro edition)

Holyrood roadmap (price yet to be announced)

David Beckham roadmap, including large-scale plans of Madrid city centre and the Trafford shopping centre (available in shiny Posh edition)

TAC editor / Cameron McNeish roadmap (currently unavailable)

TAC 58 Index

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