A Difficult Mission

George Mitchell is in the Middle East. He's talking to Ohlmert, Abbas, Mubarak, etc. He's calling for a broadening and strengthening of the cease-fire, but all around him rockets and missiles are flying. Almost as soon as the last hostilities ended, we began again the tit for tat, that makes progress almost impossible. It's really hard to know who is responsible, because their all connected, and extremists do what they do to disrupt things. But ultimately someone has to start talking directly to Hamas. They're in control of Gaza and have survived a major onslaught from the Israelis, to continue to pretend that they're not in charge, is a bit like US ignoring Castro and Cuba.

So, I say to Senator Mitchell. Keep at it and know that this is going to be a long and arduous trip! And maybe some change in policy is in order.


The biggest worry for me isn't talking to Hamas, but that Netanyahu and his Likud Party are leading in the polls prior to next month's Israeli elections. Likud is super right wing and not the Israeli mainstream, but Israel has SOO many parties that it could carve out a minority governing coalition. It has been a long time since Israel had a reasonable Labour government.
As I understand it, Labor is running third or fourth. Labor has long lost its position of importance.

You're right, the Israeli system is so fragmented that Likud has a good opportunity to put this together. And Gaza, which was supposed to give Kadima and Labor a push upward, has only strengthened Netanyahu. You're right, the biggest challenge is Likud, which does not support a 2 state solution.

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