Former Sen. George Mitchell is getting a running start; only days after his appointment as special envoy to the Middle East, he is heading to the region for an eight-day getting-to-know-you session with leaders of several countries and with the men and woman vying to become Israel’s next leader after next month’s elections.
How ironic that the legendary British Broadcasting Corporation, reviled by many pro-Israel supporters for being so decidedly un-pro-Israel in its coverage, is being pilloried at home for refusing to air a three-minute appeal for young victims of the Gaza conflict.
Thousands of demonstrators rallied in London, and more than 11,000 complaints were filed with the publicly financed BBC after it explained the decision not to show the appeal, based on its goal of maintaining impartiality in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Sunday, January 25th, 2009 James Besser in Washington
Update: I just read NY Times reporter Ethan Bronner’s interesting take on the different, seemingly irreconcilable narratives of Israelis and Palestinians, and the difficult of using “neutral” language in reporting on the conflict. Definitely worth a read. Get it here.
Here’s a paradox for you: most leaders of major American Jewish groups believe there has to be a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but many are very nervous about the appointment of former Sen. George Mitchell as the Obama administration’s special envoy in the region (Read the Jewish Week story here). Why?
It was a day of joyous celebration for the many thousands of African Americans who came to Washington to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama, but Jews weren’t exactly slackers in the celebration department.
Inaugural events provided ample opportunity for Jewish machers to see and be seen – and for advocacy groups to display their political connections.
For pro-Israel groups that have been fighting the PR wars since the latest Gaza conflict began in December, the polling news has been mostly good, with indications Americans to blame the Palestinians for the current violence much more than they blame Israel.
What is unclear: just how high a priority the issue is with a populace that has its mind on other things, starting with their disappearing 401Ks an disappearing jobs.