Jeremy Ben-Ami: George Mitchell Needs to Take Bigger, Bolder Steps

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Fadi Elsalameen, Publisher of The Palestine Note, and I interviewed J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami about a number of issues in the wake of J Street’s highly successful national policy conference last month.
In this clip, Ben-Ami responds to questions about Iran, Obama’s foreign policy course, the effectiveness of Israel-Palestine Envoy George Mitchell, and about the task and complications of being a progressive, pro-Israel organization when so many want to approach Middle East issues in a zero sum frame.
— Steve Clemons

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2 comments on “Jeremy Ben-Ami: George Mitchell Needs to Take Bigger, Bolder Steps

  1. political forum says:

    I think the Palestinian-Israeli situation is a zero sum game. Both sides clearly would wish to eradicate the other if they could and take their lands. It’s not like a territorial dispute like with Azerbaijan and Armenia, China and Japan, or India and Pakistan.
    It’s really just a question of Palestinians either getting military support from other Muslim states and going to war or not getting that support and suing for the best deal they can get.
    Nigel

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  2. nadine says:

    So Jeremy Ben-Ami bravely stakes out his pro-Israel bona fides by being for a Palestinian state, implying that he alone takes this stance?
    Ehud Barak (Labor) offered a Palestinian state in 2000
    Ehud Olmert (Kadima) offered a Palestinian state in 2007
    Bibi Netanyahu (Likud) has agreed to a Palestinian state in 2009
    In each case, the stumbling block has been the Palestinians, who refused the first two offers and refuse to discuss the third. This inconvenient truth is gotten around by not mentioning the Palestinians. The PA, Fatah and Hamas must not exist, for none of them were mentioned even once.
    According to this discussion, regional Mideast peace only has to be negotiated between the US and Israel, and the US needs to get tougher to solve the problem. Nobody else needs to agree to anything, apparently.
    What a ludicrously distorted discussion! It will encourage the Arabs to think that they only need to continue total intransigence to get more free concessions forced out of Israel by the Obama administration.
    Is that what it was designed to do? I think it was.
    Don’t hold your breath. All you will manage to do is create a total impasse. Or perhaps I should say, continue a total impasse, since Obama already created the impasse with his idiotic demand that Israel stop building anywhere in Jerusalem.
    So the Arabs will hate Obama even more than Bush because he raised false hopes. It’s starting already; did you hear Abu Mazen’s latest remarks?

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