ZOA ‘troubled’ by Mitchell pick

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Zionist Organization of America says it is "troubled" by the choice of George Mitchell as President Obama’s Middle East envoy.

Morton Klein, the group’s national president, faults Mitchell because he says Mitchell "believes both sides are equally at fault" and that "settlements are the main problem, not the Palestinian Arabs’ refusal to end terrorism" and incitement and recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

"We also must remember that George Mitchell’s success with the IRA-British problem doesn’t translate to success with the Arab war against Israel," Klein said. "However extreme and murderous the IRA was, the goal was not the destruction of Britain and extermination of its people. They wanted only to remove Northern Ireland from British rule. By contrast, the goal of Hamas and the Palestinian nationalist movement is Israel’s destruction and the murder of Jews, not merely the creation of a Palestinian Arab state next to it."

A number of dovish groups, including J Street, the Israel Policy Forum and Americans for Peace Now, has praised the Mitchell appointment.

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