The two paragraphs come at the end of the New York Times‘ article about George Mitchell’s decision to step down from his position as U.S. envoy to the Middle East:

“What needs to change is Israeli behavior,” said Nabil Shaath, who heads the foreign affairs department of Fatah, the main party of the Palestinian Authority, in seeking to explain the stalled peace endeavor. “The man was not given any support and he failed,” he added of Mr. Mitchell, speaking by telephone. “I don’t really blame him. He found himself without any initiative or ability to move ahead. He found himself doing a futile job. I liked the man. He is honest and hard-working, with lots of experience.”

Zalman Shoval, a special envoy of Mr. Netanyahu, who focuses on relations with the United States, said Mr. Mitchell “made a major effort to try to move peace between Israel and the Palestinians forward but, at the end of the day, his efforts were undermined by the Palestinians’ refusal to engage in meaningful negotiations. But he deserves the gratitude of Israel and the Palestinians for his efforts.”

Now, I am one who believes that the Palestinians have given up almost everything and the Israelis almost nothing in these past 60-plus years since Israel became a state in 1948, but… just on the level of ironic metaphor, could these two paragraphs be any better?

Kathy Kattenburg
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ShannonLee
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ShannonLee
5 years 4 months ago

Too many powerful people on both sides of the wall that hold power because of the conflict. Peace is against their best interest.

davidpsummers
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davidpsummers
5 years 4 months ago
“I am one who believes that the Palestinians have given up almost everything and the Israelis almost nothing in these past 60-plus years” Just out of curiosity, Israel has allowed an organization that once claimed the right to destroy it control over part of the West Bank. It has also given complete control of the Gaza strip. If you count this as “nothing”, then what would be “something”? Given control over the rest of the West Bank would just be more of what you are already dismissing. Lifting the blockade of Gaza would be less than giving it up in… Read more »
DLS
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DLS
5 years 4 months ago

Kathy Kattenberg wrote:

I am one who believes that the Palestinians have given up almost everything and the Israelis almost nothing in these past 60-plus years since Israel became a state in 1948[.]

Never mind that is the inversion, the opposite of reality! Israel’s nearly one-way record of concessions to evil enemies who have sought to destroy it (and its people) are an open matter of record.

jdledell
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jdledell
5 years 4 months ago
Kathy – As you know this is a subject near and dear to my heart. I want to add a little perspective on this issue. The 1948, 1967 and 1973 wars were fought primarily between armies. Neighboring arab armies and Israel’s army and para-military forces (Haganah, Irgun and Lehi) The vast, vast, vast majority of local Palestinians were civilians. While there is no doubt the Palestinians were rooting for the arabs, most Palestinians had no weapons. The British Mandate troops were quite successful preventing arms smuggling by Palestinians who had neither the money or the outside connections to secure arms… Read more »
jdledell
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jdledell
5 years 4 months ago
Kathy – You need to understand that Jews who live in Israel think of themselves, first, second, third, fourth, fifth as Jews and sixth as Israelis. The tribal instinct of jews in Israel is perhaps the stongest tribal bonding in the world. The secular culture present at Israel’s founding is dying. The million plus Russians who are in Israel have raised nationalistic tendencies while the religious community’s growth is outstripping all other groups. It is these national and religious fervor which has turned Israel rightward. Israel is a Jewish Democracy. The prevelent concept is that if different strains of Judaism… Read more »
davidpsummers
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davidpsummers
5 years 4 months ago
Kathy Kattenburg wrote: Israel still has complete control over the West Bank. The Israeli military occupation is still in full force on the West Bank. Israeli soldiers control every aspect of Palestinians’ lives. And that is not even to mention the fact that there are thousands of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which have both the effect and the intent of expropriating large portions of any future Palestinian state. They do that both because of the actual land they take up, and also because they are scattered throughout the West Bank surrounded by Palestinian land. So any future… Read more »
jdledell
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jdledell
5 years 4 months ago
“Those who ignore what Israel have done, and the legitimate needs they have…” Davidpsummers – Do the Palestinians have any legitimate needs? Does Israel recognize those needs? Do you realize how restrictive Palestinian commerce is? Do you really think Israel allows Palestinian goods to be sold or exported thru Jordan? The answer is no. Israel buys the produce produced in the west bank at ridiculous prices ONLY when Israel proper cannot produce an adequate supply. Would it surprise you to learn that Israel’s minimum wage law does not apply to the west bank and Palestinians are paid as little as… Read more »
davidpsummers
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davidpsummers
5 years 4 months ago
jdledell…. Again, talking about what one thinks Israel _should_ do is not the same thing as talking about whether what Israel _has_ done is “almost nothing”. I think if you want Israel to do more, ignoring what they have done isn’t the way to go. I agree that what Israel did wasn’t purely altruistic (nor is anything the PLO, Egypt, Lebanon, etc. etc. did. Most cooperation between countries is based on trades, not altruism). I’m looking for Israel to be willing to trade some things they want for other things they need. I believe the phrase is “territory for peace”.… Read more »
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