Inside Israel and the Palestinian Territories
It’s a bit like a Hitchock thriller. Nobody knows where he is — not even the U.S. State Department — and nobody knows when he will show up in Israel. All we know is, suspense is building and it’s time to watch out for surprises.
President Barack Obama’s Middle East peace envoy Senator George Mitchell is somewhere in transit — probably – and expected in Israel and the Palestinian Territories next week – sometime.
A State Dept. spokesman at Wednesday’s regular briefing could not say much at all about Mitchell’s movements beyond he has left Washington. Could he be in London meeting the Syrian foreign minister? Don’t know. Is he going to Turkey as well? We will try to find that out. When is he going to be in Israel? Can’t say exactly.
Mitchell is famous for playing his cards very close to his vest and his vest very close to his skin. He gives out very little information when he is engaged in high-stakes mediation.
Posted by Wafa Amr.
With each Israeli election since the 1993 historic Palestinian-Israeli interim peace deals, the Palestinians feel their situation has gone from bad to worse. This time, their sense of desperation deepened as they woke up to an Israeli political map strongly dominated by the right wing. People say the chances for peace and ending occupation seem more remote than ever. The editor-in-chief of the Palestinian official al-Hayat daily newspaper, Hafez al-Barghouthi, called the growing strength of the right-wingers in Israel the “Right-wing Tsunami”. Israel’s shift to the right has added to the Palestinians’ sense of hopelessness. “The victory of the Israeli right means an open invitation for the Palestinian factions to turn fanatic to confront the advocates of settlements and land theft,” Barghouthi wrote on election day.
Tzipi Livni’s centrist Kadima party led in Tuesday’s election with 28 seats, one seat over Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud in the 120-member parliament. The centre-left Labour party, which made peace with the Palestinians 16 years ago, suffered a heavy blow. The rise of Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party who has vowed to keep settlements and advocates tougher measures with the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, has added to the Palestinians’ despair.