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Foxman: George Mitchell is too ‘fair’ and ‘even-handed’ to serve as Middle East envoy.

By Faiz Shakir on January 21, 2009 at 3:43 pm

"Foxman: George Mitchell is too ‘fair’ and ‘even-handed’ to serve as Middle East envoy."

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thumb_george_mitchell.jpgThe media is reporting that former Sen. George Mitchell, who handled the Northern Ireland peace process, is being eyed by the Obama administration to be a top diplomatic envoy to the Middle East. In 2001, Mitchell produced a report on the Middle East which recommended that Israel freeze all its settlement activities. Without a freeze, a cessation of violence would be “particularly hard to sustain,” he argued. While Mitchell’s impending appointment is earning a great deal of praise, the Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman complains the diplomat is too fair and balanced for the post:

“Sen. Mitchell is fair. He’s been meticulously even-handed,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “But the fact is, American policy in the Middle East hasn’t been ‘even handed’ — it has been supportive of Israel when it felt Israel needed critical U.S. support.”

“So I’m concerned,” Foxman continued. “I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach in the Middle East.”

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