Big News being reported nowhere except from The Mideast Peace Pulse blog at the Israel Policy forum (read about them at bottom of article):
Next week the high commissioner, George Mitchell, is to return. But this time he is not coming alone. He will be arriving with a whole organization aimed at executing Barack Obama’s policies for the Middle East.
George Mitchell is no longer going solo. He has appointed four deputies. The first, David Hale, from the State Department, will reside regularly in Jerusalem. The second, Mara Rudman, served as chief of staff of the National Security Council under Clinton and was extremely active in the New America Foundation which concerns itself a great deal with providing aid for the Palestinians. She will be stationed in Washington and coordinate the administration’s activity with the representative in Jerusalem.
The third is a former military man, Fred Hoff, an expert on Syrian affairs. He has a clear world vision, which states that the US administration must reach a deal with Syria before withdrawing from Iraq.
George Mitchell himself will arrive in Damascus, for the first time, already in the next few weeks. Until now Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman visited there twice. These visits signify an upgrading in talks between the United States and Syria.
The fourth figure is the region’s military advisor, US Security Coordinator Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, who is building the Palestinian Authority’s military forces. Just recently he and the defense minister agreed to continue to expand the forces operating in the West Bank.
Mitchell’s organization was established in order to channel all of American policy towards Israel and the surrounding countries into one conduit. To unite this into one coordinated voice encompassing all branches of government. The embassy in Tel Aviv will provide services, and the consul in Jerusalem, whose working relations with the Palestinians were not exactly to their satisfaction, has been replaced by one of the State Department’s stars, former head of the Israel and Palestinian desk: Daniel Rubinstein.
The days of a shuttle envoy, who waits to have meetings set up with Israel officials, asks questions and waits for answers that often fail to come, have passed. From now on we’re talking about a permanent presence, with presidential authority, which executes the White House policy, gets updates from the field, follows implementation of policy from up close and reports directly to the president on an ongoing, daily basis. A front line branch office of the White House.
The IPF (Israel Policy Forum) says their mission is:
…to promote active U.S. engagement to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace and security for Israel with the Palestinians and the Arab states.
George Mitchell represents the strong arm of the U.S. government, “a permanent presence, with presidential authority.” Israel is under seige from the Obama White House and I hope Netanyahu can stand up under the pressure.