Imagine it's 2011 and you write a letter to your congressman expressing concern over House Resolution 268, a measure that reaffirms U.S. commitment "to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." If you're a constituent of Pennsylvania Republican Joe Pitts, who has served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Human Rights Commission, you may have to wait a whole year for a reply.
But it will be totally worth it, because the response will feature this gem…
With the global war against terrorism, it is now incumbent on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasir Arafat to clamp down on Palestinian extremists that have perpetuated violence and to restart a peace process that has collapsed.
Contrary to popular belief, and also contrary to occasional strikes against Israeli civilians and associated reprisals against Palestinians, the two sides have been making great strides. It's just the progress has been difficult to discern because the lead negotiators have either been dead since 2004, in the case of Arafat, or in a coma since 2006, in the case of Sharon.
Pitts staffers blamed the error on an errant form letter rather than a new frontier in the GOP's pro-life agenda, where even the dead Palestinian leaders are granted living personhood…
"This is particularly embarrassing," said Gabe Neville, Pitts' chief of staff in Washington. He said the contents and postage of the letter amount to a "double mistake": an outdated form letter that was pulled it from the mail pile a year ago, but sometime since then, added back into outgoing mail.
It would be edifying to get the Middle East perspective on this, but the Times of Israel had some sad news: "Neither Arafat nor Sharon were available for comment."
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Tags: Israel, Joe Pitts, Middle East, Palestine, Pennsylvania