THERE IS NO BROADCAST ASSOCIATED WITH THIS EDITORIAL:
I received a LETTER from Rod Violette, who is a former Canadian, and a retired RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) Fighter Pilot who is now an American living in Lincoln California.
I published Rod Violette’s letter under the headline: Why George Mitchell Was Right, January 13, 2006.
In his letter, Rod Violette defends Mitchell’s attempt to bring peace to the Israelis and Palestinians. He also refers to Mitchell’s fabulous success with the Irish.
The following is a somewhat edited version of my response to Rod Violette’s excellent letter.
All George Mitchell’s Palestinian/Israeli initiatives did, was to bring back Arafat from obscurity, and empower Palestinian racists and murderers. But he can’t be blamed alone.
In their own way, Israeli Prime Ministers Rabin and Peres were no less guilty. As was Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
If you recall, before Oslo in 1993, there was very little conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. As a matter of fact, several hundred thousand Palestinians happily crossed into Israel every day to work for a decent salary.
And in “Palestine”, many Arabs made good money selling their products to Israelis.
Before 1967, when the West Bank belonged to Jordan, and Gaza belonged to Egypt, these were territories without hospitals, schools and basic infrastructure such as paved roads, sewage and electricity. But all of that changed under Israeli governance.
Life was so much better for the Palestinians under the Israeli government than it was under the governance of Egypt and Jordan, that many within the Palestinian community talked openly about being annexed into Greater Israel.
This would have been a disaster for the Jewish State, since Israeli Jews have a very low birthrate, while the Palestinians have enormous families.
Given a few short years (perhaps two generations), Jews would have become a minority in their own country. That is the only reason why Rabin, Peres, Barak and Sharon decided collectively and independently that the only solution that was good for Israel was an independent Palestine.
What none of them bargained for was how uncivilized and corrupt the Palestinian leadership really was. So much so, that nothing Israel would offer them would have been acceptable, as we saw at Camp David in 2000 when Arafat walked away from the deal of his people’s lifetime.
Although George Mitchell’s intentions were nothing but honorable, his results were like poison. A poison that killed more than a thousand Israeli Jews. Maimed thousands more. And left Jewish children as orphans. Mothers as widows. And husbands as widowers.
The Arafat Intifada was partly caused because George Mitchell wanted to believe that the Palestinian Authority was as civilized and committed to peace as was Israel.
This miscalculation has deeply scarred Israel and left this tiny Jewish Homeland extremely vulnerable.
His mistake also wiped out the infrastructure and employment gains made by millions of Palestinians as a result of Israel’s victory in the 1967 6 Day War.
As it is so well stated:
No good deed goes unpunished. And – The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
What George Mitchell seemed not to consider was: Both sides of the Irish conflict were civilized people with similar cultures who understood and accepted the Secular Rule Of Law. And that both sides with the exclusion of their radicals really wanted peace.
This was not equivalent between the Palestinians and Israelis.
The Israelis wanted peace so badly, that at Camp David in 2000, they were prepared to give up Gaza and 97% of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem where the Palestinians would have had their capital.
The Palestinians were so opposed to peace with Israel that they ran away from the offer and started a bloody TERRORIST war the West calls the Intifada.
George Mitchell’s plan was a disaster for everyone.