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dennis ross

  • One year on: The Iran deal has fulfilled its promise

    Despite what Israel's prime minister may have you believe, the Iran nuclear deal has succeeded in doing exactly what it set out to do: significantly decreasing the threat of a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic. By Shemuel Meir The annual Herzliya Conference made headlines a few weeks back simply due to the fact that former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak pulled out a no holds barred attack on Benjamin Netanyahu. It was interesting to hear that Ya'lon told the crowd that "at this point in time and in the near future, Israel does not face any existential threats."…

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  • Stop giving Israelis a pass: What Dennis Ross could have said

    Former U.S. ambassador and Mideast peace process envoy Dennis Ross penned a 'New York Times' op-ed titled, 'Stop Giving Palestinians a Pass.' In it, he calls out European diplomats for supporting international efforts to end the occupation while not demanding more of the Palestinians. Below is a duplication of Ross's op-ed, almost word for word, but this time calling out former American diplomats for disparaging international efforts at ending the occupation while not demanding more of the Israelis. Read Ross's original op-ed here. The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, rebuffs international consensus about ending the occupation of the West…

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  • The dehydration of economic peace

    The irony of Rawabi is that everyone, in both Israel and Palestine, seems to want it to happen. Nevertheless, Palestine's first planned city still lacks a stable water connection, its continued cash flow is threatened and despite their best intentions, interested parties the globe-over cannot bring the project any farther forward. Officials involved in the project say a political power play -- part of Netanyahu's bid to undermine the Palestinian unity government -- is the only thing stopping the water from flowing.  By Corey Sherman “Rawabi,” Amir Dejani says, “is about the future.” The deputy managing director of Rawabi, Dejani sits behind…

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  • A pro-Israel hawk to draft Kerry’s peace plan?

    That one must be a pro-Israeli Zionist in order to be eligible for the State Department's Israel-Palestine team is indicative of the problem with U.S. policy in the region. You’ll never see an analyst from a PLO-affiliated advocacy organization or Palestinian think-tank become a senior member of the U.S. Mideast peace team. Middle East analyst David Makovsky joined U.S. envoy Martyn Indyk’s peace team this week, Laura Rozen reported Monday. Makovsky, A Zionist Jew, former editor of the right-leaning Jerusalem Post, was until now a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. AIPAC and Indyk – then a researcher for the…

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  • Dennis Ross: Netanyahu's attorney in Washington

    Dennis Ross presents a framework for renewing the peace process, which he apparently lifted directly from the Israeli PM's hard disk - including de facto recognition of permanent Israeli control over eight percent of the West Bank.  Veteran U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross had a full page op-ed in The New York Times this weekend, in which he presents a 14-step program that is supposed to establish a framework for renewing the diplomatic process. The piece includes a lot of talk about peace, but the action items are lifted from Netanyahu’s policy book, demonstrating again why the Palestinians were right when they refused to meet Ross –…

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  • Would another Obama term be better for Israel/Palestine than Romney?

    The answer: Not necessarily. In a side note to my post on Newt Gingrich yesterday, I wrote that as far as the Israeli-Palestinian issue is concerned, I don't see a big difference between a second Obama term and a Romney presidency. This remark got more attention than my comments on Gingrich, which were at the center of the post, so I'd like to elaborate on them a bit. If I were an American citizen, I would probably vote for Barack Obama in 2012, mainly due to his positions on domestic issues. While far from being perfect – especially on personal…

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  • US top envoy leaving, and so should his politics

    Dennis Ross was the architect of a policy that centered on shielding the Israeli government from pressure while hoping that it would decide to end the occupation on their own. The result was an epic, two-decade long failure Dennis Ross, president Obama's top adviser on Israel-Palestine, is leaving the White House by December. Ross, a veteran diplomat who took part in the negotiations through the 90's and until the failed talks between PM Barak and Arafat at the beginning of the previous decade, has let his decision be known in a lunch with Jewish leaders. This is not surprising: Ross…

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  • Haaretz's pundit takes on US envoy Ross for aiding Netanyahu

    Akiva Eldar, an expert on the peace process, avid supporter of the two-states solution and author of "Lords of the Land," a history of the Israeli settlement project, harshly criticizes the White House's envoy to the Middle East, Dennis Ross, for backing the demands of an extreme rightwing Israeli government. In an Haaretz article, Eldar also advises to Palestinians to continue their UN bid, and if it fails, dismantle the Palestinian Authority and let Israel face the consequences of direct control over the West Bank's Palestinians. I think this piece is important, because it shows that following the Palestinians, the…

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  • US Envoy Dennis Ross says a mouthful

    Papers are reporting that Dennis Ross, President Obama's special advisor on the Middle East, said at the President's Conference in Jerusalem on Thursday that Israel cannot sit idly by and wait for things to happen.   According to Haaretz: bold steps need to be taken to make sure that Israel remains a Jewish and democratic state. This statement struck me as ridiculous when I read it after I got home tonight. If bold steps need to be taken in the future, then what currently makes Israel Jewish and democratic? Certainly not its solvent borders. What steps were being taken to make…

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  • Obama finally confronts Netanyahu, but to what end?

    Even as the two leaders reveal their differences, the White House continues to oppose both the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation and the Palestinian Authority’s moves at the UN – without getting anything from Jerusalem in return UPDATE: I reevaluated some of the issues discussed in this post. Check out my new post here. Daily papers are not printed in Israel on Saturdays – weekend editions are distributed on Fridays, and the political commentary pieces go to press on Thursday afternoons. U.S. President Barack Obama gave his speech on the Middle East on Thursday evening, and throughout the week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's…

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  • American-Israeli bluffs and the success of Palestinian unilateralism (UPDATED)

    Mahmoud Abbas has told Newsweek he is disappointed with Obama, but the US President has actually done a nice job of revealing the American double-standards with regards to Israel. Meanwhile, Jerusalem's hawks are suggesting that in response to a Palestinian declaration of independence, Israel should annex the West Bank. Not such a bad idea UPDATE: See my comments on the Fatah-Hamas agreement at the end of the post Newsweek has an interesting interview with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. It's titled "The Wrath of Abbas," and in it Abu-Mazen shares with Dan Ephron his frustration and disappointment over the US administration's recent…

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  • The J street conference: An "A" for effort, “F” for results

    From this Israeli’s perspective, the J Street conference looked like a pretty sleek production. Too bad that’s all it amounted to. Now that the folks at JStreet are finished patting each other on the back for a job well done, I’d like to give them a perspective on the conference from one who did not attend. I just read about it here, on my laptop in sunny Bat Yam. There wasn’t much to see here. Not on TV, and not in the papers. I also understand that there wasn’t much coverage in the American media. In fact, if one visits…

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  • At J-Street, new terms describe Israeli reality

    There was something slightly frustrating about the J Street conference. At times, participants seemed to be discussing the same old problems, wondering why the same old solutions haven’t worked, while talking about them in the same old terms. Meanwhile, the Middle East is undergoing enormous changes with every new minute. Old policies have become slogans, drained of meaning by failure. We need an arsenal of new ideas; empty rhetoric is a liability that must be exposed. You can’t take aim at the future with a cartridge full of blanks. Take one example: “the peace process.” At the conference, the columnist…

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