Ross: Obama would alter Mideast ‘dynamic’

Dennis Ross presses need to ‘engage’ on Iran, peace process

Former Ambassador Dennis Ross, senior adviser on Middle East affairs to the Barack Obama campaign, told NJ Jewish News that Obama, not his Republican rival, John McCain, “would change the dynamic” to facilitate peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors and ease the potential nuclear threat from Iran.

    “The stakes are so high in this election. I look at Israel’s strategic position. I look at the threat from Iran. I look at Hamas’ building a mini-terror state in Gaza, we can’t afford four more years of a policy that continues to create that kind of a strategic context.”

    Obama “is not going to push Israel for concessions, but he is going to engage. It has been a huge mistake to disengage.”

[I don’t think we can believe him. To engage is to push. If Netanyahyu is PM and wants no peace process then what will Obama do?]

According to Ross, a central figure in Mideast negotiations before and after 1993’s Oslo Accords, the United States “can’t afford to walk away the way we have, because it strengthens the hand of Hamas; it strengthens the hand of the Islamists…. Today, Hamas is strong in Gaza in no small part because there was no process.”

    “[Obama would] absolutely not engage with Hamas or Hizbullah. We do not engage with non-state actors. If Hamas wants to transform itself and recognize Israel, renounce violence, and recognize previous agreements, that’s a different story.

    “would engage with Iran because the current policy toward Iran has failed.”

Comment by Ted Belman
So Obama is all for engaging in the peace process. I believe we should disengage from the peace process and let Israel be Israel. He also wants to engage with Iran. As if there hasn’t been years of engagement already. But more important he suggests that engagement will lead to no nuclear weapons for Iran. On what basis can he say this. What would he offer to get Iran to give up on nuclear weapons? He doesn’t say. Perhaps he is thinking of a nuclear free ME including Israel? Watch for it.

October 2, 2008 | 11 Comments »

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10 Comments / 11 Comments

  1. Bland,

    Believe me — Israel long ago adopted the “crazy state” option.

    Not that kind of crazy. Olmert BB, Livni and Barak are symptoms of your kind of crazy. My kind would drive you back to your Christian Church.

  2. You can argue that Israel gets the least benefit out of her relationship with America, but I would counter to state that what benefit she does get is sufficient for at least the majority of Israeli politicians and electorate to recognize the importance of Israel maintaining that relationship.

    You have inadvertently stated the problem here, but not it’s logical conclusions, once recognized. Ask me what they might be and I will tell you.

    The biggest problem we could face if all the American Jews would pick up and move to Israel would be : What to do with all of those Jewish Lawyers? I could think of ans. to this as well but I don’t think you would like the ans.

  3. David, your comment is too simplistic, as is your implication that Israel’s best interests were defeated when Bush did not give Israel the green light to nuke Iran.

    The relationship between America and Israel is much broader and more complicated then that, but both derive sufficient benefit from it to keep that relationship going, while both do not get exactly what they want out of that relationship.

    You can argue that Israel gets the least benefit out of her relationship with America, but I would counter to state that what benefit she does get is sufficient for at least the majority of Israeli politicians and electorate to recognize the importance of Israel maintaining that relationship.

    To be sure, Israel could try to take tougher positions to advance her own interests and her relationship with the States might not suffer or not suffer nearly as much as some predict.

    The proof is in the pudding so, I do advocate Israel trying to assert some of her own best interests that might grate on America and see what America does beyond expressing “grave disappointment” or so other serious verbal concerns.

    As for Dennis Ross thinking Obama is the man, he is entitled to his opinion. There are many beyond these pages who have grave reservations about Obama and even McCain, but it appears that opinions about Obama are more negative.

  4. I am unsure why all the partisn andti-Democrtat stuff here when the simple fact is this: Bush did not allow Israel to send out planes to nuke Iran’s sites. Bus did not allow it. Simple? Understand? If Bush did not allow it, would McCain, the clone?

  5. Spam machine ate my post. Here it was:

    Yamit and Tov Klein,

    Believe me — Israel long ago adopted the “crazy state” option.

    BB will give away more than Olmert, and I have no doubt especially since he wants a govt. of National Unity with at least Labor from the Left. Barak continuing as DM. He wants to avoid giving the right the power of veto and bringing him down again. This is the lesson BB has learned from his past and does not intend to repeat same mistake.

    Netanyahu is indeed a brilliant man, learning from his mistakes. By the way, when talking about “Left” and “Right”, you might as well consider Shas as part of the Left — They gave away FAR more than Bibi did (The sweeping Oslo Accords vs. the very limited Wye Accords), and they are intent on creating a socialist, welfare state. As for Olmert (who expelled Jews from Gaza) being better than Netanyahu (who opposed expelling Jews from Gaza), the point is moot: You can have any opinion you want on this and it doesn’t matter; since Olmert has fallen, never to rise again.

    Israel really looks comical right now. Olmert has resigned, yet he’s still trying to negotiate a treaty with Abbas (who doesn’t really rule anything). Livni presumably just won the #1 spot, but she hasn’t been able to form a government. Israel’s best bet for getting out of the comedy, is for Livni to fail altogether. That would mean that someone else gets to try to form a coalition. Nobody can do this: Labor doesn’t have enough friends, and Likud stands to gain much more by forcing elections. Nevertheless, Israeli law says that someone has to TRY to form a government, so you might carry on for another 42 days, leaderless and directionless, with Olmert and Abbas continuing to negoitiate treaties that represent, essentially, only them. Eventually, the government will decay and stink enough to be declared finally, thoroughly and completely dead (I’m reminded about Orthodox superstitions about the dead — that they can’t fully “cross over” until the corpse has completely decayed). Elections will be called then, followed by a few months of BS, after which the above is repeated with a slightly reshuffled deck. At best, it will be March or April, 2009 before Israel even has a credible government.

    Unless he dies or has a stroke, it seems Bibi Netanyahu will be Israel’s next PM. Who will his coalition partners be? If Bibi is true to form, I don’t think it will matter much: Bibi will be in charge, very much in charge. He doesn’t like competition in his own party or in his own government, and he’s probably learned a thing or two from Sharon about how to ensure that the competition is neutralized. His only real challenge will probably be the AG and the High Court, who have a marvellous record of corrupting every Right-Wing PM I can think of, from Begin onward.

    Fortunately, Israel belongs to God, who actually rules the place. The human side is, as I have said, rather comical.

    I’ve been following the polls in the US. Unless something changes, McCain stands to carry no more than 200 electoral votes. I’ve been practicing saying “Hail Obama” in my mind, just to see what it sounds like.

    Shalom shalom 🙂

  6. Yamit and Tov Klein,

    Believe me — Israel long ago adopted the “crazy state” option.

    BB will give away more than Olmert, and I have no doubt especially since he wants a govt. of National Unity with at least Labor from the Left. Barak continuing as DM. He wants to avoid giving the right the power of veto and bringing him down again. This is the lesson BB has learned from his past and does not intend to repeat same mistake.

    Netanyahu is indeed a brilliant man, learning from his mistakes. By the way, when talking about “Left” and “Right”, you might as well consider Shas as part of the Left — They gave away FAR more than Bibi did (The sweeping Oslo Accords vs. the very limited Wye Accords), and they are intent on crating a socialist, welfare state. As for Olmert (who expelled Jews from Gaza) being better than Netanyahu (who opposed expelling Jews from Gaza), the point is moot: You can have any opinion you want on this and it doesn’t matter; since Olmert has fallen, never to rise again.

    Israel really looks comical right now. Olmert has resigned, yet he’s still trying to negotiate a treaty with Abbas (who doesn’t really rule anything). Livni presumably just won the #1 spot, but she hasn’t been able to form a government. Israel’s best bet for getting out of the comedy, is for Livni to fail altogether. That would mean that someone else gets to try to form a coalition. Nobody can do this: Labor doesn’t have enough friends, and Likud stands to gain much more by forcing elections. Nevertheless, Israeli law says that someone has to TRY to form a government, so you might carry on for another 42 days, leaderless and directionless, with Olmert and Abbas continuing to negoitiate treaties that represent, essentially, only them. Eventually, the government will decay and stink enough to be declared finally, thoroughly and completely dead (I’m reminded about Orthodox superstitions about the dead — that they can’t fully “cross over” until the corpse has completely decayed). Elections will be called then, followed by a few months of BS, after which the above is repeated with a slightly reshuffled deck. At best, it will be March or April, 2009 before Israel even has a credible government.

    Unless he dies or has a stroke, it seems Bibi Netanyahu will be Israel’s next PM. Who will his coalition partners be? If Bibi is true to form, I don’t think it will matter much: Bibi will be in charge, very much in charge. He doesn’t like competition in his own party or in his own government, and he’s probably learned a thing or two from Sharon about how to ensure that. His only real challenge will probably be the AG and the High Court, who have a marvellous record of corrupting every Right-Wing PM I can think of, from Begin onward.

    Fortunately, Israel belongs to God, who actually rules the place. The human side is, as I have said, rather comical.

    I’ve been following the polls in the US. Unless something changes, McCain stands to carry no more than 200 electoral votes. I’ve been practicing saying “Hail Obama” in my mind, just to see what it sounds like.

    Shalom shalom 🙂

  7. If Israel has a chance it will begin with Israel, Jews. We don’t need to be extorted to the point of extinction. Yamit is right. If I screwed up in the slightest way, in the most menial job, I would never be considered for re-hire! But if I was a smooth-talking politician who messed-up royally, and had almost no viable competition, I would be almost guaranteed the highest position in the land! What’s wrong with this picture? I can’t believe this, coming from intelligent posters here. BB is NOT the answer!

  8. Another option, one that I have advocated for many years could be: MAD JEWS, OR CRAZY STATE OPTION!!!

    It is always dangerous to rely on a protecting empire: Jews tried that with Assyria, Rome, and Persia.
    Fortunately, Israel need not rely on anyone: her arsenal of nuclear bombs, if wielded wildly enough, would force everyone from Tehran to Washington to behave in our region to our liking. No one would like the mad Jews to nuke the oilfields, and no one can do anything to prevent us from doing so. To be mad is easy and feasible: reduce the army to the level clearly insufficient for a conventional war and pass a law which mandates automatic nuclear strike over the enemy’s attack, mobilization, or nuclearization.

    In terms of alliances, the American one is empty. Our earthly protector gives Egypt and Palestine more aid than us, supplies Arabs more weapons than us, and pushes us around diplomatically. Russia is better: it never pushed a client to suicidal peace with its enemies. Russia, if aligned with Israel, would be interested in our expansion rather than shrinking into the eight-mile-wide borders. Being a normal rather than professedly moral state, Russia would want its client to win rather than capitulate to the defeated enemies. Russia would love to lure the proverbial American client and in a brink of eye establish control over the Middle East.
    http://samsonblinded.org/blog/israels-best-ally-america-or-russia.htm

  9. Diplomacy seems to be one of the few spheres where someone can be constantly be wrong, be always on the wrong sides of issues, consistently pursue policies that have been shown to be erroneous but continue to expound on same as if history does not exist and evidence of their errors are not apparent. Yet they still are given public forums, to espouse the same political mantras of the their failed policies, world views, and efforts over many years as if they were right all along?

    Ross could be considered one of the greatest failures in International diplomacy since the Famous Chamberlain and Peace in our time statement. Even to quote him here is an affront to reasonable intelligence.

    BB will give away more than Olmert, and I have no doubt especially since he wants a govt. of National Unity with at least Labor from the Left. Barak continuing as DM. He wants to avoid giving the right the power of veto and bringing him down again. This is the lesson BB has learned from his past and does not intend to repeat same mistake. I prefer Olmert to a BB. At least we know what we have. BB is at best insidious and at worst a self serving, traitorous, opportunistic facile type of politician.

  10. the United States “can’t afford to walk away the way we have, because it strengthens the hand of Hamas

    I see no logic in that statement. Hamas was a virtual non-entity before Oslo, and came to power after Washington pressured Israel into allowing PA elections. I blame the Israelis themselves, though, and not any foreign power, for making Gaza Judenrein and allowing a Hamas takeover there. I dare say, that without foreign interference Israel will simply destroy itself with corruption and incompetence. The US should wash its hands of the whole affair, lest it be blamed for the calamity.