America’s former peace envoy to the Palestine-Israel negotiations, George Mitchell, has said that the only solution to the conflict is through the two-state solution. Responding to a question from Quds News during a lecture at the National Press Club, Mitchell said that there is no solution apart from two-states. “Palestine and Israel, coexisting in peace and security with each other… All other options are unacceptable and disastrous,” he claimed.
Mitchell was appointed by President Barack Obama as envoy to the peace negotiations in January 2009 but resigned in frustration in May 2011. “The window to achieve a two-state solution is narrowing and the alternative will be for Israel to face more isolation and challenges in the international arena, which means that the Palestinians will continue living their tragedy for another fifty years to come,” he said. “As the Palestinian population continues to grow, Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank creates a difficult dilemma that complicates even more as time passes.”
The former envoy refuted Israeli attempts to justify its retention of the Palestinian territories by saying that a two-state solution will preserves its security. “The military threat which Israel faces will not come from the border but from well beyond the borders not adjacent to Israel; we need to look at the missile arsenal possessed by Iran and other players in the region.”
Mitchell refused to comment when questioned whether it is time for the United States to present its principles to achieve a two-state solution. Nor did he address peace in the wider Middle East and the failed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
A group of former US politicians, including President Carter’s national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and former Defence Secretary Frank Carlucci, as well as Thomas Pickering, a former assistant to a Secretary of State, called last month for the Obama administration to declare America’s principles for reaching peace in the Middle East with a two-state solution and to mobilise international support. However, Israel’s supporters in Washington and in Congress rejected the proposal by saying that the United States should not impose a solution on Israel and that any agreement must be reached through direct negotiations with the Palestinians.