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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Dennis Ross pushing imposed 'solution'?

Laura Rozen believes that Dennis Ross is one of the main people behind the push for the Obama administration to impose 'peace' between the Israelis and the 'Palestinians.'
And as David Ignatius reports today, some officials are arguing that the U.S. needs to get away from the vexing issue of settlements and East Jerusalem and take it to the “30,000 feet,” grand strategy level:
The American peace plan would be linked with the issue of confronting Iran, which is Israel's top priority, explained the second senior official. He described the issues as two halves of a single strategic problem: "We want to get the debate away from settlements and East Jerusalem and take it to a 30,000-feet level that can involve Jordan, Syria and other countries in the region," as well as the Israelis and Palestinians.

"Incrementalism hasn't worked," continued the second official, explaining that the United States cannot allow the Palestinian problem to keep festering — providing fodder for Iran and other extremists.

Interestingly, while the piece praises National Security Adviser Jim Jones as the supposed proponent of the broad regional strategic approach vs. Mitchell's preference for letting the parties come up with the plan, it conspicuously never mentions the White House Middle East-Iran strategist, Dennis Ross, who has reportedly argued against getting into a public fight with Netanyahu over settlements and for keeping the focus on the big picture, Iran. (And whose views seem to closely resemble those of the "second official" Ignatius cites, above).

Ross now has some 30 to 40 people working under him at the NSC, a former official at the White House this month said, a tenth of the whole NSC staff. In other words, not mentioning such a big player on the Middle East debate while mentioning Mitchell and Jones is noticeable. Which is all a way of saying my best guess is Ignatius' "first senior official" is Jones (see second graph of this piece by Elliott Abrams who thinks so too: "The give-away is this line: 'The fact that Obama is weighing the peace plan marks his growing confidence in Jones.' Now who do you think was Ignatius’s source for that gem?") and his "second official" is probably Ross.

Well, the first official isn't Ross - that's for sure. In Ross' book, he rejects the idea of 'linkage.'


At 12:55 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The prospects of Israel accepting an "imposed solution" are exactly zero. And since the Palestinians don't really want the two state solution, they will also reject it. The only way it can be imposed is through force and such a "solution" won't hold up for very long. But the Obama Administration never thinks ahead to that scenario. The President wants to justify his Nobel Peace Prize, the lives of the Jews and Arabs be damned.

What could go wrong indeed


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