[The following owes special thanks to Rabbi Michael Lerner, Yousef Munayyer, and Josh Ruebner who offered their opinions for this article. Lerner is working on increasing support for the Global Marshall Plan. Munayyer has written articles which have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The San Fransisco Chronicle and others. Ruebner, who once burned his Israeli military papers in an act of civil disobedience which took place across from the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., and spends time fighting for several projects like the Stop the Wall Project, the Caterpillar Project, and the Divestment Project, which are all aimed at improving the plight of the Palestinian people.]
The Appointment of George Mitchell
Former Senator George Mitchell was recently chosen by Obama and Clinton to head a U.S. peace envoy to the Middle East.
If George Mitchell is simply leading a peace envoy to the Middle East to develop a new policy to fit within a paradigm of power politics, there is little hope for the people of this war-torn region.
Lucky for America, hope and change is in the air and the majority of the world will watch closely as the peace envoy goes to work and hope that this is the moment they’ve been waiting for---a moment where both sides can finally enjoy peace and security.
The stakes are already raised high despite the attempts of President Obama to temper the world’s expectations by describing how long this will take and how difficult it may be. Obama knows what must be done, which is why he gave his first televised Q&A to the Saudi-backed Dubai-based channel al-Arabiya.
Josh Ruebner, the National Advocacy Director for the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, said, “The appointment of George Mitchell is an indication that the Obama Administration is interested in pursuing a more even-handed policy than the Bush Administration.”
Ruebner emphasized the fact that Mitchell is better than someone with ties to AIPAC or the Washington Institute of Near East Policies.
Yousef Munayyer, policy analyst for the Anti-Arab Discrimination Committee, found Mitchell to be a positive choice.