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Congressman Joe Pitts, the Republican representative for Pennsylvania’s 16th congressional district, has an odd plan for peace in the Middle East: he wants Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon “to restart a peace process.”

This is strange, considering that Arafat died in 2004 and Sharon has been in a coma since 2006. Despite having visited the Middle East in 2008, Congressman Pitts apparently hasn’t checked up on the Arab-Israeli conflict in a while.

Pitts’ baffling statement came in a letter that he wrote to a constituent who had written him in opposition to U.S. House Resolution 268, which condemned Palestinians. In Pitts’ response, dated April 20, 2012, he wrote:

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.

As the constituent’s son, Ian Rhodewalt, wrote on his blog: “apparently, my congressman believes that the solution for peace in the Middle East will be reached by encouraging negotiations between a vegetable and a dead man.”

“Pitts has unwittingly provided us with a brilliant metaphor of the peace process,” he added. “It is comatose, if not dead.”

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