Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Mitchell must talk with Hamas and Israel must
recognize Palestine's right to exist
By Eileen Fleming
ccun.org, April 18, 2009
On April 16, 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
informed Special Mid East Envoy George Mitchell that "Israel expects the
Palestinians to first recognize Israel as a Jewish state before talking
about two states for two peoples."
Israel is a Jewish state where
Jewish people are welcome and also an Ethnocracy:
"Israel is a not a
democracy but is an Ethnocracy, meaning a country run and controlled by a
national group with some democratic elements but set up with Jews in control
and structured to keep them in control.”-Jeff Halper, American-Israeli,
Founder and Coordinator of ICAHD/Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
and a Noble Peace Prize Nominee for 2006.
On January 31, 2006,
Khalid Mish'al, spokesperson for the political bureau of Hamas wrote for The
"We shall never recognize the right of any power to rob us
of our land and deny us our national rights. We shall never recognize the
legitimacy of a Zionist state created on our soil in order to atone for
somebody else's sins or solve somebody else's problem. But if you are
willing to accept the principle of a long-term truce, we are prepared to
negotiate the terms. Hamas is extending a hand of peace to those who are
truly interested in a peace based on justice.
"The day Hamas won the
Palestinian democratic elections the world's leading democracies failed the
test of democracy…The US and EU could have used the success of Hamas to open
a new chapter in their relations with the Palestinians, the Arabs and the
Muslims and to understand better a movement that has so far been seen
largely through the eyes of the Zionist occupiers of our land.
have seen how other nations, including the peoples of Vietnam and South
Africa, persisted in their struggle until their quest for freedom and
justice was accomplished. We are no different, our cause is no less worthy,
our determination is no less profound and our patience is no less abundant.
On April 16, 2009, Mitchell told reporters after meeting with
Foreign Minister Lieberman, [who rejected the negotiations begun toward
Palestinian statehood at Annapolis] "I reiterated to the foreign minister
that U.S. policy favors, with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a
two-state solution which will have a Palestinian state living in peace
alongside the Jewish state of Israel." 
Sen. George Mitchell's
2000 "Mitchell Report" on the Middle East became the backbone of the "Road
Map" to peace, which called for a halt to Israeli settlements and an
independent viable Palestinian state by 2005.
In a statement
released from the Israeli Foreign Minister's office Lieberman was quoted as
telling Mitchell that the Israeli government will have to formulate new
ideas and a new approach to achieve peace with the Palestinians and Arab
states in the region, and work to improve the economic situation for the
Palestinians. Shimon Peres stated, "No door to peace has been closed and I
believe that this year is a decisive year in the Middle East. We do not have
time to waste." [Ibid]
How many years can some people exist before
they're allowed to be free? How many deaths will it take till he knows that
too many people have died? The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind…
Meaningful negotiations for peace are unrealistic unless all parties have
the right to be heard and given equal voice and justice must be sought; just
as Mitchell did in Ireland.
The winds of change blew with the
appointment of George Mitchell who is seeking to negotiate a sustainable
cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
Since 1995, Mitchell has been active in the
Northern Ireland peace process as the
United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland. Mitchell led the
commission that established the principles on non-violence to which all
parties in Northern
Ireland adhered to and which then led to an all-party peace
The Good Friday Agreement, officially known as the
Agreement was signed on Good Friday 1998.
It was Mitchell's personal
intervention with all sides that brokered success beyond the talks.
split between Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank can-and must be
reconciled and a coalition government can-and must be formed; for the
popular struggle for self-determination and freedom from oppression and
occupation can never be sanctioned to death.
"It's not dark
yet, but it's getting there."-Bob Dylan
Ambassador Warren Clark,
Executive Director for Churches for Middle East Peace traveled to the Holy
Land in December and reported on the universal skepticism about the
possibility of a peaceful resolution.
"Palestinians complained that
they had seen their government negotiate with Israel and the U.S. for over a
year with few visible results while Israeli settlements continued their
inexorable expansion into Palestinian territories. Even as internal security
in the West Bank improved, with Palestinian police training and Palestinian
borders with Israel remaining quiet, over 600 road blocks remained deep in
the West Bank, choking off commerce and ready access to jobs, schools,
hospitals and holy places.
"In Jerusalem, threat of Palestinian
house demolitions continued for lack of Israeli building permits while
Israeli housing expanded apace. West Bank Palestinians remained unable to
reside with a Jerusalem resident spouse.
"The 1.5 million residents
of Gaza, for a second year, remained cut off from the world except for a
trickle of "humanitarian" food and medicine, hapless hostages to the
political tensions between Israel and Hamas. Hamas remained in control of
Gaza and continued to employ indiscriminate rocket and mortar attacks. We
left the region just before the ceasefire collapsed with a spiral of rocket
attacks against southern Israel and massive Israeli retaliation that left a
reported 13 Israeli and 1,300 residents of Gaza dead, many of whom were
women and children.
"In these circumstances hope was a scarce
commodity. One thoughtful Christian leader told us there was just too much
politics, too much religion, and too much foreign meddling for there to be
real progress for peace." 
The blockade of Gaza persists as do
the growing mounds of rubbled homes and infrastructure while only limited
humanitarian aid is allowed through the checkpoints in a Machiavellian
effort designed to deny Hamas any political credit for the reconstruction.
"The Israeli non-governmental organization Peace Now notes that if all
Israeli housing plans in the West Bank were completed, the Israeli settler
population would double. Likud party chief Benjamin Netanyahu, who will lead
the next government, favors improving the Palestinian economic situation
rather than actually working to create a viable Palestinian state. Other
parties that made strong gains support settlement expansion and another
notoriously calls on Israel to rid itself of most of its Palestinian
citizens that make up nearly 20 percent of Israel's population." [Ibid]
In the past the U.S. and EU have refused to deal with a coalition government
until Hamas agreed to recognize Israel. Times have changed and Hamas is not
going away, so Mitchell must talk with them and they should be allowed the
opportunity to participate in a coalition that would recognize Israel as a
state while upholding their right to not accept "the right of any power to
rob our land and deny us our national rights."
On April 5, 2009, in
Prague speaking about a nuclear free world, President Obama ended with,
"Words must mean something…There is violence and injustice in our world that
must be confronted. We must confront it by standing together as free
nations, as free people. I know that a call to arms can stir the souls of
men and women more than a call to lay them down. But that is why the voices
for peace and progress must be raised together…Human destiny will be what we
make of it."
Human beings have rights and states and nations have
obligations; and there can be no peace without justice. Justice requires the
honoring of the rights of the indigenous people to be free from occupation
and the mission for Mitchell at this time is to aggressively pursue an End
to the Occupation through justice. Justice requires listening to both sides,
holding each equally accountable for their actions and to the same
Eileen Fleming, is the Founder of WAWA: