George Mitchell

Washington Post slams George Mitchell for always comparing Northern Ireland to Middle East


George Mitchell

A Washington Post editorial writer,Jackson Diehl, has slammed Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell for continually referring to Northern Ireland and his experience there during the peace talks.

In a piece entitled ‘Is George Mitchell in the Middle East or Northern Ireland? “ Diehl writes.

“A dozen years ago, former senator George Mitchell helped to broker a peace accord, the "Good Friday agreement," between warring Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. The Irish still appear to be grateful. But I'm not so sure about Israelis and Palestinians -- who appear to be doomed to listen to Mitchell draw parallels between their conflict and that of the Irish at every possible opportunity.”

Diehl says Mitchell has brought up his previous experience as broker in virtually every media briefing he has conducted since his appointment by President Obama in January 2009.

He called Mitchell’s point in doing this “simple, and alarmingly reductionist:”

Diehl says Mitchell constantly refers to Northern Ireland.

"I’ll return, if I might, to my experience in Northern Ireland," he quotes Mitchell as saying  at an Aug. 20 briefing at the State Department.
Back them Mitchell said “ In a sense, in Northern Ireland, we had about 700 days of failure and one day of success."

Diehel points out that “Mitchell himself has taken to pointing out that "circumstances are very different" between the Middle East and Ireland and that "one must be careful about transferring principles," as he put it Wednesday. Yet he keeps doing it. I can't help but wonder if his memories of past glories are clouding his judgment of current events.” Diehl concludes


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