Our CNIF delegation to the Middle East will gather here in Washington today and depart this evening for Beirut. From there we’ll visit Syria, Jordan, Israel and the OPTs, and Egypt.
I am much looking forward to meeting the group. Co-leading will be Amb. Jack Matlock, a deservedly well-regarded retired senior diplomat.
As our delegation of citizen-diplomats is setting off the region, I see that Sec. Hillary Clinton and sepcial envoy George Mitchell are already there.
Clinton is going there from Pakistan, where she committed what the BBC and others have reported as something of a diplomatic gaffe. She told journalists there,
“Al-Qaeda has had safe haven in Pakistan since 2002… I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to.
“Maybe that’s the case; maybe they’re not gettable. I don’t know.”
I wonder if she’ll commit any similar kind of “indiscretion” while she’s in Israel and Palestine?
Maybe she’ll say something like:
“Individuals who’ve been illegally seizing and settling in occupied territories have had a safe haven in Israel since 1967… I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to.”
I’m holding my breath for that!