Now that talks are resuming between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, there is more evidence of the US’ lack of neutrality. Reuters reports:
“In another sign of possible momentum, Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel who directs the foreign policy program at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, is expected to be named as the new U.S. envoy for Middle East peace, possibly as early as Monday, a source familiar with the matter said.”
First, if the US wanted to be an impartial mediator it would not name the former ambassador to Israel. Imagine in the 1980’s if the US had named its ambassador to the UK as the “envoy for peace between the UK and Ireland.” Fortunately, it chose George Mitchell.
A more specific example of Indyk’s lack of neutrality is his description of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran as the “rejectionist bloc,” which although is considered conventional wisdom, indicates an unwillingness to empathize with the Palestinians or see any reason why, for example, a guerrilla militia that developed to push out an occupying army would still harbor animosity towards the country that occupied it. This is not to excuse the violations of the laws of war by either Hezbollah or Hamas. But to refer to the elected government of the Palestinian people as a “terrorist government” as Indyk did, is not becoming of a mediating diplomat.
Lastly, and I must emphasize that this is not meant as any kind of racist or religious slur, it is not neutral to pick someone who is Jewish as a mediator between the two sides, just as it would be ludicrous to pick an Arab or even a Muslim American. Going back to someone like George Mitchell, as Obama did in his first term, would be far more appropriate.