One of the great misconceptions Senator Mitchell has about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is that "if it worked in Northern Ireland it can work with the Israel/Palestinian conflict. That argument is as relevant as saying Michael Jackson should play Quarterback for the Tennessee Titans because both the singer and Vince Young are African Americans. There is little relationship between the two.
It is true that Britain and the IRA negotiated a peace, but there were so many MAJOR differences to the Middle East situation today that the comparison is just silly:
- The IRA did not threaten the very existence of Great Britain. Hamas promises to destroy Israel as a Jewish State. The charter of the ruling Fatah party also has the destruction of Israel as part of it charter.
- At the time negotiation with the British began, the IRA "military operations" were in a decline and so was morale, they felt that their positions were growing more tenuous. Hamas see no reason to make peace, they are already rearming, days after the cease fire.
- British state had no real geopolitical or strategic interest in maintaining presence on in Ireland, north or south. As the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Peter Brooke, officially affirmed in 1990, Britain had "no selfish strategic or economic interest in Northern Ireland." Israel has the most basic of interests, its very survival.
- There was no regional power rearming the IRA the way Syria and Iran feed the Palestinian terrorists
- Bringing in the terrorists was not the priority at the outset of the Northern Irish peace process and there were "preconditions" placed on the IRA to be involved with it. Mitchell intends to engage the West Bank ruling terrorist entity Fatah immediately.
- Both England and the Northern Irish government were working to end terrorism. Israel is the only party working to end terrorism. Elements of the ruling PA party Fatah fought along side Hamas in the recent Gaza war.
President Obama was elected on the basis of brining change to America, with George Mitchell's speech today, we now understand what he means by change. It reminds me of an old joke about a Russian Gulag. The commander addresses the prisoners with good news. "I have decided to ease your burdens a little," He says, "For the first time in five years I will allow you all to change your underwear. YOU Change with that guy...over there, with the guy here...."
Sammy Benoit publishes Yid with Lid