The Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock. Attribution Some rights reserved by kudumomo.

Double duty

When George Mitchell quietly re­signed as special envoy for the Middle East, I was dismayed. I've always thought of him as a man of strong convictions but also as a pragmatist, a practitioner of politics as the art of compromise. Did he find the Israel-Palestine puzzle so intractable that he concluded that his efforts on behalf of the U.S. government were futile?

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Rela­tions, observed recently that while Israel continues to be successful economically, it is increasingly isolated internationally; indeed, it is regarded by most of the world as the chief obstacle to Middle East peace (Time, May 2). Although the Middle East is in a particularly difficult time, with Hamas and Hezbollah on Israel's borders, the future of the Jewish state is at stake.


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