Concerned Citizen.

That would be me. Surprise, surprise.

 

Press Herald Letters to the Editor May 25 (do I have to blockquote it if I wrote it?):

 

I have no doubt that George Mitchell is a great man; a brilliant diplomat, a stalwart patriot and a phenomenal role model for young Mainers.

The Press Herald’s response to his resignation, though well-intended, detracts from his achievements. That George Mitchell is an intelligent man prompts me to believe his resignation is a wake-up call: The conventional style of babysitting diplomacy is dead.

Henry Kissinger, Camp David and Oslo couldn’t find a Mideast peace. Why should Mitchell be different? The fundamental problem is not lack of American effort — perhaps better to call it meddling or intervention — but rather a lack of a people’s voice in the process.

The reaction to his resignation from both supporters and detractors has one disastrous commonality: It disenfranchises the very people whom peace in Israel-Palestine most affects by putting all the eggs in the basket of international diplomacy.

Supporters (like the Press Herald) say that if peace comes, it will be because of Mitchell’s groundwork. Detractors say there is no peace now, therefore Mitchell failed.

If a peace in Israel-Palestine comes in my lifetime, it will not owe anything to the efforts of outsiders or politicians. It will reflect a collective effort between Israelis, Palestinians, Armenians, Ethiopians, even Syrians and Jordanians. It will be trans-national, trans-religious and trans-ethnic.

I could not possibly pretend to know how this will happen, but I imagine the uprisings of the “Arab Spring” are a reliable indicator.

I applaud Mitchell on his resignation from an impossible job. He has extracted himself from this downward spiral of endless, futile “negotiations,” and I can only hope that rather than speculating on various ratios of failure and success, we learn from him.

We need to re-approach our unbalanced relationships with Israeli and Palestinian “leadership” and our involvement in a struggle that means life or death — but not ours.

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