Yesterday it was announced that American Mid-East envoy George Mitchell was resigning his post effective in one week.
Mitchell, the former Maine senator who helped broker the peace deal in Northern Ireland in the late 1990's was asked by President Obama to presumably attain a similar result with Israel and the Palestinians.
In two years of frustration, Mitchell abruptly resigned saying he only intended to remain on the job for two years anyway so apparently there's nothing to read into his sudden announcement to step down. Hmm.
Of course we're not privy to the details behind his resignation or the specific reasons behind his "frustration" in being unable to perform his Northern Ireland "magic" in the Middle East; even whether he really believed at the outset that his appointment could result in his achieving a genuine peace deal between the Israeli's and their Palestinian adversaries.
Maybe the confidence he had in his own proficient arbitration abilities (which he succeeded in getting the hated antagonists to sit down and negotiate a peace deal in N.Ireland) got the best of him.
But in truth, Mitchell had no chance to succeed in the Mid-East to begin with.
Now one can be accused that this is simply hindsight; that there was no way anyone could know beforehand Mitchell couldn't perform a similar "miracle" with the Israeli's and the Palestinian's.
Well the age of miracles has long passed and besides the Israeli's have never had any real intention of accommodating the Palestinian's in any real settlement establishing an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.
Since their success in the 1967 war that catapulted them as the occupier of the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, Jerusalem and the Sinai Peninsula (ceded back to Egypt in 1982 as part of their separate peace deal negotiated in 1979) which they seized as spoils in their overwhelming victory over Egypt, Syria and Jordan, all the evidence on the ground i.e. the ongoing settlement expansion, the 22' wall erected around the West Bank, the siege and embargo of Gaza, along with the blatant expulsion of Palestinian's from their land to accommodate hard line, mostly Orthodox Jewish settlers on those seized lands in the West Bank (which unmistakably betrays any real Israeli intention to honestly negotiate a peace deal with the Palestinian's) bespeaks for itself; the Israeli's approve their domination and control as occupiers and with their upper hand have no intention of settling a peace deal with the adversaries they subjugate.
To put it plainly and succinctly, any talk of an Israeli peace with the Palestinian's is simply atmospherics and chimera.
Israel may be seen as a pariah state by the Arab world and that its policies in the West Bank and Gaza amount to apartheid.
But to the Israeli's, the brutal truth is, ANY adverse criticism directed toward them is condemned as anti-Semitism as they automatically wrap themselves in victimhood (a direct result of the Holocaust) which is their ultimate unspoken defense that rejects ANY outside criticism or condemnation of them and their "supposed" oppressive occupation over the Palestinians.
In America with most members of Congress on both sides of the aisle in knee jerk support of Israel and beholden to AIPAC (America Israel Public Affairs Committee) which automatically defends Israel and its policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians, the Israeli's retain an American political shield that absolves them of any wrongdoing (also consider the "Gladstone Report" on the Israeli invasion of Gaza in December of 2008 where the chief investigator Richard Gladstone retracted his original condemnation of the Israeli army assault after he came under unrelenting pressure from the Israelis and hard line Jews everywhere).
With such absolution from guilt conferred on them by their unquestioning supporters, the Israeli's simply see no need to negotiate any legitimate peace deal with their Palestinians.
So in the end what was Mitchell supposed to achieve; a breakthrough that could alter the status quo?
Mitchell's fate was sealed from the outset. He never stood a chance of succeeding.