Much ado about Mitchell


Contra hysterical Israeli media coverage Adam Horowitz at Mondoweiss gets it 100 percent right: if anything, George Mitchell was making it clear the Obama administration is not about to leverage either side — the Israelis or the Palestinians — with the "stick" of withdrawn assistance:

    GEORGE MITCHELL:  Well, both sides make the same argument to me in reverse, that the real problem, they say, is you haven’t pressured the other side. 

    CHARLIE ROSE:  Yes, exactly. 

    GEORGE MITCHELL:  Cut them off, tell them you won’t help them anymore, you won’t do anything, you’ll walk away.  I say, use, would you like us to do that to you?  Oh, no, not to us, but you should do it to the other side. 

    The reality is that, yes, of course the United States has both carrots and sticks.  You have to be very careful about how and when you use them and apply them.

UPDATE: My old Jerusalem Post buddy Herb Keinon also gets this exactly right. (Herb, Adam. Adam, Herb.):

During the lengthy interview Mitchell praised the Netanyahu government for its settlement construction moratorium, showed understanding for reacting with mighty force to Kassam rockets, indicated that the Obama administration realized that the pre-1967 lines were not inviolate and some settlements would remain in place, and stated that it was just a fact that Israel would build in east Jerusalem. It is a bit over the top, therefore, to take out Mitchell’s reply to a very specific question about what "sticks" the US had in its arsenal for use against Israel, and then hyperventilate over the reply.


Granted, there are times when it is necessary to scream Gevalt! But read the transcript of the Mitchell interview and decide on your own: Over this? Is this really a "bomb" that Mitchell dropped on Israel?

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