A parse too far


Sometimes "comprehensive peace" means just that, I guess.

I just updated Marcy’s brief on the meetings this week between George Mitchell, the Obama administration’s special Middle East envoy, and the new Israeli government. Reportedly, there was much pushing and pulling on the role of a two state solution, but at the end of the day, this is all Mitchell had to say:

Special Envoy Mitchell held a series of meetings with senior Israeli officials on April 15 and 16. They discussed the full range of issues. Special Envoy Mitchell looks forward to working with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government toward comprehensive peace.

I thought about parsing this – he doesn’t mention Palestinian statehood, after all – but on the other hand, as far as the Americans are concerned, that would be part of a "comprehensive peace."

So for tonight, I’m going to leave Mitchell alone.

UPDATE: Two-state is very much on the table, according to Robert Wood, the State Department spokesman – and not only that, Mitchell delivered the usual warnings about making sure not to "inflame tensions," code – when it is directed at Israelis – for settlement expansion.

Here’s Wood from Thursday’s State Department briefing:

MR. WOOD: Well, look, what I can tell you is Senator Mitchell had a very good and candid discussion with Foreign Minister Lieberman. Senator Mitchell reiterated what U.S. policy is with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And by that, I mean our pursuit of a two-state solution with the two countries living side-by-side in peace. With regard to Foreign Minister Lieberman’s comments, I’d have to refer you to him or his office. But Senator Mitchell, you know, made it clear what the U.S. position is with regard to —

QUESTION: That – with regard to two-state solution?

MR. WOOD: Two-state solution, yes.

QUESTION: And following on Annapolis?

MR. WOOD: It’s been very clear that out of Annapolis, there were a number of different elements that the U.S. Government and the other parties were committed to. And certainly, Roadmap obligations are important, making sure that we don’t take steps that further inflame tensions in the region, taking steps that don’t contribute to a positive atmosphere. So the foreign minister is well aware, as is the rest of the Israeli Government, about what the United States wants to see happen in the region.


Recommended from JTA