Debating the Mitchell pick


James Besser of the New York Jewish Week reports that the potential choice of George Mitchell as a Mideast envoy is drawing mixed reviews among centrist-on-foreign-policy leaders of Jewish defense organizations:

“Sen. Mitchell is fair. He’s been meticulously even-handed,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “But the fact is, American policy in the Middle East hasn’t been ‘even handed’ — it has been supportive of Israel when it felt Israel needed critical U.S. support.

“So I’m concerned,” Foxman continued. “I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach in the Middle East.”

But David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, said Mitchell could be a “good and logical choice” if he is given a mandate focusing mostly on crisis management. “He has the respect of both sides, and he would have direct access to top administration officials, which is very important.”

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