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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mitchell's loan guarantees threat was, you know, just 'historical context'

George Mitchell wasn't supposedly threatening Israel over the loan guarantees. He was simply discussing a "fact of historical context" whatever that is.
"I know that Senator Mitchell's interview with Charlie Rose last week caused some angst in various quarters perhaps in Israel. Just to clarify this, he wasn't signaling any, you know, particular course of action," Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley said.
"So this was simply, you know, George Mitchell commenting on a matter of history," he concluded."
Yeah, well, you know. It's like, you know, when the Godfather explained that accidents can happen, to you or your family, he wasn't signaling any, you know, particular course of action.  You know.
And of course, if a US representative asked about the solution to the problem of Iran would, you know, explain that in the past the United States has used, you know, nuclear weapons, that would not, you know,be signaling any particular course of action, and you know, nobody would get excited about it, right? That would be simply, you know, someone commenting on a matter of history.
Ami Isseroff
Last update - 23:26 11/01/2010       
State Dept.: U.S. not planning to withhold Israel loan guarantees
By Natasha Mozgavaya, Haaretz Correspondent

The U.S. State Department on Monday reiterated that special Mideast envoy George Mitchell's suggestion that Washington could withhold loan guarantees if Israel continues to delay the peace process was merely a fact of "historical context."
"I know that Senator Mitchell's interview with Charlie Rose last week caused some angst in various quarters perhaps in Israel. Just to clarify this, he wasn't signaling any, you know, particular course of action," Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley said.
Mitchell, when asked in a television interview last week what sort of pressure could be applied to Israel, replied that "under American law, the United States can withhold support on loan guarantees to Israel."
Mitchell told PBS interviewer Charlie Rose that George W. Bush's administration had done so in the past. But he quickly added that he preferred persuasion to sanctions.
"Mitchell was simply asked a question with an historical context. You know, are there sticks that are available? And I think he mentioned that this is a step that the United States has taken in the past," Crowley said Monday.
"He wasn't signaling that this is something that we're forecasting in the future. You know, but it is - it obviously is something that we have in our toolbox. It's not that we're out, you know, wielding that particular tool at this particular time."
"The reason why Senator Mitchell is in the region or in Europe this week and he will meet with Israeli officials while he's in Europe - have other meetings as we go forward - is expressly to continue to push, you know, the parties and all who are supporting this process, to get the negotiation restarted as quickly as possible where we can," added Crowley. "... Put all the issues on the table and see if we can, you know, move towards a comprehensive peace in the Middle East."
Mitchell on Monday arrived in Paris to begin a week of talks with European officials on restarting the Middle East peace negotiations

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