Statement on Sen. Mitchell’s appointment as Middle East Envoy

January 22, 2009

Jeremy Ben-Ami, Executive Director of J Street, issued the following statement welcoming Senator George Mitchell’s appointment to the role of special envoy for Middle East Peace for the Obama Administration:

“J Street enthusiastically welcomes President Barack Obama’s appointment of former Senator George Mitchell as Middle East Envoy.

“The choice of Senator Mitchell signals the President’s serious intention to inject new thinking and fresh perspectives into America’s efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“President Obama spoke eloquently Tuesday about the important role the United States must play in ushering in a new era of peace and in helping people around the world to move beyond old hatreds and lines of tribe.  We share and endorse his vision both of a new direction for U.S. policy in the Middle East and of renewed American leadership in Middle East peacemaking.

“Former Senate Majority leader George Mitchell is uniquely well suited to play a critical role in that effort.  His many accomplishments – including brokering Ireland’s Good Friday peace accord and his well-received report on the causes of the Second Intifada – are rooted in his ability to listen and to speak to both sides in conflicts and to provide the leadership needed to solve long-standing problems.

“We hope that Senator Mitchell will immediately and actively engage the international community and all the key actors in the Middle East in a comprehensive effort to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a comprehensive resolution to the broader Arab-Israeli conflict.”