Anyone with any illusions about the daunting task that lays ahead for Obama’s new Middle East envoy George Mitchell should read this recent online piece by journalist Sandy Tolan (right).
Readers of previous posts will surely know that I’m a huge fan of Tolan. In this latest article he lays out five critical questions for Mitchell as he seeks to jump-start the search for a two-state solution. Fair warning: Tolan doesn’t pull his punches:
Twelve years later…post-Oslo “facts on the ground” have all but doomed the traditional path to peace. The two-state solution, the central focus of efforts to end the tragedy of Israel and Palestine since 1967, has been undermined by the thickening reality of red-roofed Israeli settlements, military outposts, surveillance towers, and the web of settlers-only roads that whisk Israelis from their West Bank dwellings to prayer in Jerusalem’s Old City, or to shopping and the beach in Tel Aviv. So dense had the Israeli West Bank presence become by 2009, so fragmented is Palestinian life — both physically and politically — that it now requires death-defying mental gymnastics to imagine how a two-state solution could ever be implemented.
I personally find Tolan’s analysis to be provocative and important. I’m interested in hearing your reactions…