In late October, 2000, US president Clinton appointed an international investigation commission to investigate the causes of the rioting in Israel, naming an Arab American and former US Senator, George Mitchell, as its chairman, and a Jewish-American, also a former US senator, Warren Rudman, to the panel, together with three prominent European diplomats.

Initial reaction in Israel to the publication of the Mitchell Commission report in May, 2001, evoked a sigh of relief that the Mitchell commission did not blame Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for instigating the riots in September, 2000 during his visit to the Temple Mount.

However, even with that Sharon Temple Mount Accusation out of the way, the Mitchell Commission report accepted all of the other specious PLO premises for the current PLO insurrection.

The Mitchell commission accepted as a given that the PLO uprising is based on some based on some kind of movement for “independence and genuine self-determination”, without giving credence to the clearly stated PLO goal, stated in all PLO publications, maps and media outlets, even during the current Oslo process, which remains “liberation” of all of Palestine.

The Mitchell Commission characterizes the rioters armed with molotov cocktails as “unarmed Palestinian demonstrators”. a term that they seemed to have borrowed from several PLO information reports that have been published of late.

The Mitchell Commission takes the position that Israel’s security forces do not face a clear a present danger when faced with a mob trying to murder them with rocks and firebombs

The Mitchell Commission does not even mention that the PA has amassed 50,000 more weapons than they are supposed to have, in clear violation of the written Oslo accords, and not only the “spirit of the accords”, which seem to carry more weight with the Mitchell Commission.

The Mitchell Commission also accepts the notion that the Palestinian Authority security officials are simply not in control of their own tightly controlled security services,

The Mitchell Commission rejects the notion that the PA planned the uprising, as if the PA did not spend the past seven years preparing its media, school system and security services for any confrontation wit Israel.

The Mitchell Commission also describe an Israeli “view” that the PA leadership has made no real effort to prevent anti-Israeli terrorism, ignoring the message that Arafat has conveyed in his own media for the past seven years.

The Mitchell Commission also rejects Israel’s characterization of the conflict, as “armed conflict short of war”; (how else would you describe an army that fires mortar rounds into Israeli cities?)

The Mitchell Commission also rejects the IDF killing PLO combat officers during a time of war, without giving an alternative as to what actions the IDF is supposed to take in any such military confrontation.

Instead of issuing a clear call to the PLO to stop its sniper attacks on Israel’s roads and highways, the Mitchell Commission simply “condemns the positioning of gunmen within or near civilian dwellings”, leaving the observer to assume that PLO attacks from empty embankments would be acceptable.

The Mitchell Commission suggests that “the IDF should consider withdrawing to positions held before September 28, 2000,…to reduce the number of friction points”, ignoring the fact that this would leave the entry points to many Israeli cities without appropriate protection at a time of war.

The Mitchell Commission demands that Israel should transfer to the PA all tax revenues owed, and permit Palestinians who had been employed in Israel to return to their jobs, strangely recommending that Israel once again be in the position of paying the salaries of the armed PLO personnel who are now at war with Israel.

The Mitchell Commission takes a page out of Arab propaganda brochures when it calls on Israeli “security forces and settlers to refrain from the destruction of homes and roads, as well as trees and other agricultural property in Palestinian areas”, not even relating to the remote possibility that some areas of trees and agricultural land had been razed because it had given cover to the PA security forces during combat.

The Mitchell Commission accepts the notion that “settlers and settlements in their midst” remains a cause of the Palestinian uprising, because these Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria violate “the spirit of the Oslo process”, even though not one word appears in the actual Oslo accords would require the dismemberment of a single Israeli settlement anywhere.

In conclusion, the Mitchell Commission finds a connection between “settlement activities” and the Palestinian ability to resume and makes a judgment that negotiations cannot continue, so long as “settlement activities” continue, thereby introducing an excuse for the PLO to continue its armed conflict.

The Mitchell Commission accepts the notion that “settlers and settlements in their midst” remains a cause of the Palestinian uprising, because these Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria violate “the spirit of the Oslo process”.

The Mitchell Commission members know full well that not a word appears in the actual Oslo accords would require the dismemberment of a single Israeli settlement anywhere.

Yet for some reason, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres praised Mitchell Commission report as “balanced” and “fair”. Yassir Arafat, meeting with his political allies from Israel on May 11, stated that the Mitchell Report was the basis for renewal of negotiations between the parties.

Does this mean that the Israeli government will now accept the premise of the Mitchell Commission that negotiations with Arafat can only continue when Jewish community activity ceases in Judea, Samaria and Katif?

Is Peres acting on his own?

All this remains to be seen.


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.