by Efraim Inbar
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Senator George Mitchell, US Special Envoy to the
The appointment of Senator George Mitchell as special envoy to the
There are several reasons for this outcome, some conjectural and some structural. First, Obama's behavior has not been helpful. He has insisted on a comprehensive settlement freeze, which the Palestinians turned into a precondition for sitting at the negotiating table. So far it has backfired, indicating
Poor Mitchell was sent into diplomatic battle when most of the region was quite impressed with Obama's rhetoric but was not convinced that words would be followed by deeds. Unfortunately, the heyday of American power and influence in the
The truth is that even a much stronger
American diplomacy can hardly make a dent in the schism within Palestinian society that is the main stumbling block for progress in peace-making. As long as Islamist Hamas has a powerful grip on the Palestinian ethos and Palestinian aspirations, and as long as its ruthless rule over
The final obstacle for Mitchell is the nature of his mandate – the pursuit of an outdated paradigm, the two-state solution. Unfortunately, the desired outcome of the
Mitchell, and with him a large part of the international community, fail to understand that the ethnic conflict being waged in the
Therefore, what is needed is a new policy paradigm. It is high-time to consider a return to the status quo ante of pre-1967.
Efraim Inbar is professor of political studies at
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