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Mitchell, George (Mideast PeaceCzar)

Title: Special Envoy for Middle East Peace
Reports to: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Department that handles similar issues: State Department
Duties: Works to develop peace between Israel and Hamas

  • Born August 20, 1933
  • Earned undergraduate degree at Bowdoin College in 1954
  • Joined the Army and served in Berlin with the counter-intelligence division
  • Returned to the U.S. in 1956 and attended Georgetown Law School, taking a job as a trial lawyer in the Justice Department until 1958
  • Took a job working for Democrat Senator Edward Muskie in 1958
  • Graduated from Georgetown Law School in 1960
  • Ran unsuccessfully for the Maine governorship in 1974
  • Was appointed U.S. Attorney from Maine by President Carter in 1977
  • Became a U.S. district judge in 1979
  • Was appointed to the Senate in 1980 after Edmund Muskie was named Secretary of State in the Carter administration
  • Served as Senate majority leader from 1989 to 1994
  • Turned down an offer from President Clinton to become a Supreme Court Justice in 1994
  • Sought to help President Clinton pass his universal health-care plan
  • Was sent by President Clinton to chair the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland in 1996
  • Left politics in 1996 to practice law
  • Led a fact-finding committee in 2000 to study violence in the Middle East
  • Produced the Mitchell Report in 2001, which laid the foundation for the subsequent “road map” for Middle East peace. The report drew a moral equivalence between the Israelis and Palestinians: “Some Israelis appear not to comprehend the humiliation and frustration that Palestinians must endure every day … some Palestinians appear not to comprehend the extent to which terrorism creates fear … and undermines their belief in the possibility of co-existence,”
  • According to FrontPage Magazine’s David Bedein:

    [T]he Mitchell Commission report accepted all of the PLO premises for the violence at the time.

    The Mitchell commission accepted as a given that the PLO-led riots were based on a movement for "independence and genuine self-determination", without giving credence to the clearly stated PLO goal, stated in all PLO publications, maps and media outlets, even during the current Oslo process, which remains "liberation" of all of Palestine.

    For some reason, the Mitchell Commission characterized the rioters armed with molotov cocktails as "unarmed Palestinian demonstrators".…

    The Mitchell Commission took the position that Israel's security forces did not face a clear a present danger when faced with a mob trying to kill them with rocks and firebombs.

    The Mitchell Commission made no mention that the PA has amassed 50,000 more weapons than they are supposed to have, in clear violation of the written Oslo accords.

    The Mitchell Commission surprisingly accepted the notion that the Palestinian Authority security officials are simply not in control of their own tightly controlled security services.

    The Mitchell Commission would not consider reliable intelligence reports which documented that the Palestinian Authority had planned the uprising, and did not relate to documentation which showed that the PA spent past seven years preparing its media, school system and security services for a violent confrontation with Israel.

    The Mitchell Commission described as an Israeli "view" that the PA leadership has made no real effort to prevent anti-Israeli terrorism, ignoring the consistent incitement that Arafat has conveyed to his own media for the previous seven years.

    The Mitchell Commission also rejected Israel's characterization of the conflict, as "armed conflict short of war" …

    The Mitchell Commission also condemned the IDF killing of PLO combat officers during a time of war, without giving an alternative as to what actions the IDF is supposed to take in any such military confrontation.

    Instead of issuing a clear call to the PLO to stop sniper attacks on Israel's roads and highways, the Mitchell Commission simply "condemned the positioning of gunmen within or near civilian dwellings", leaving the observer to assume that PLO attacks from empty embankments would be acceptable.

    The Mitchell Commission suggested that "the IDF should consider withdrawing to positions held before September 28, 2000, …to reduce the number of friction points", ignoring the fact that this would leave entry points to many Israeli cities without appropriate protection during a time of war.

    The Mitchell Commission also demanded that Israel should transfer to the PA all tax revenues owed, and permit Palestinians who had been employed in Israel to return to their jobs, strangely recommending that Israel once again be in the position of paying the salaries of armed PLO personnel who were at war with Israel.

    Meanwhile, the Mitchell Commission took a page out of Arab propaganda when it called on Israeli "security forces and settlers to refrain from the destruction of homes and roads, as well as trees and other agricultural property in Palestinian areas", and would not relate to the possibility that some of the trees and agricultural land had been razed may have been provided cover to PA security forces during combat.

    The Mitchell Commission also accepted the notion that "settlers and settlements in their midst" remains a cause of the Palestinian uprising, because these Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria violate "the spirit of the Oslo process", even though not one word appears in the actual Oslo accords would require the dismemberment of a single Israeli settlement.

    In conclusion, the Mitchell Commission drew a strange comparison between "settlement activities" and the Palestinian ability to resume negotiations, so long as "settlement activities" continue, introducing an excuse for the PLO to continue its armed conflict.

  • Mitchell also chaired a 2006-2007 independent investigation into the illegal use of performance-enhancing substances in Major League Baseball.
  • He has been Chairman Emeritus of the Global Board of DLA Piper since 2003.

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