Zal Obama’s speciale onderhandelaar George Mitchell de vrije hand krijgen om een evenwichtige oplossing te vinden voor ‘het’ conflict in het Midden-Oosten?
In naming George Mitchell as special envoy to the Middle East, President Obama unfortunately made statements indicating no departure from the failing policies of previous administrations.
In particular Obama emphasized Israels right to defend itself, never once mentioned things like the occupation or International law, attacked Hamas (a duly elected movement that represents a significant portion of the Palestinian people), supported the strangulation of Gaza, demanded no resistance from an occupied people, and supported the Israeli occupiers in their violence that most recently killed over 400 children.
This logic has been tried before including under the aggressive diplomacy of Bill Clinton and has yielded only a strengthening of Hamas, weakening of Fatah, continued Israeli colonization on Palestinian lands, and setting the stage for future conflicts. Further, such approach is even more untenable now after the setback of the June 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon and the current war on Gaza.
As articulated well by President Jimmy Carter, it is wrong to frame this conflict simply as democratic Israel facing terrorist groups like Hamas and it is wrong to continue to fund Israeli wars while claiming to be an honest broker. ..
Obama’s appointment of George Mitchell as special Middle East envoy may signal a step in the right direction regarding U.S. policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But there remain questions as to whether Mitchell is up to the task and whether the Obama administration is willing to put some muscle into the process.
Mitchell was raised in a blue-collar family in Waterville, his mother a textile worker who had emigrated from Lebanon as a young woman. Though one of the most prominent Arab-Americans in politics, Mitchell rarely embraced his Arab heritage openly. As a senator, he received large campaign contributions from right-wing political action committees supportive of Israeli policies and was a strong proponent of unconditional military and economic aid to the rightist Israeli government of Yitzak Shamir. He initially opposed the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. He even criticized James Baker, the secretary of State under the first Bush administration, for characterizing the illegal Jewish settlements ringing eastern Jerusalem on lands seize by Israeli forces in the 1967 war as being on occupied territory. As such, he effectively argued that the United States should recognize Israel’s unilateral annexation of a part of the West Bank in contravention of international law and a series of UN Security Council resolutions…