The Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler has a piece today looking at the prominent role that Dennis Ross has played in the Obama administration’s dealings with Israel, and reports that Ross “primarily worked” on a “package of incentives that the Obama administration is offering Netanyahu to extend a settlement moratorium by 60 days to keep nascent peace talks with the Palestinians on track.”
But there’s a whole lot of crucial history and context about Ross that goes unmentioned which would show that Ross is an unabashed pro-Israel partisan.
Here’s some of the ways Kessler describes Ross: he is a “crucial, behind-the-scenes conduit between the White House and the Israeli government…[he] has provided an element that had been missing from the bilateral relationship, which has been rocky since Obama took office.”
In his memoir about the “peace process,” Ross wrote that Israel is a “dynamic” place, “with an intellectual vibrancy and an impulse to debate every issue. I identified with its people, and my own Jewish identity became more important to me as a result.”
Ross co-founded the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee-sponsored think tank the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a major player in the Israel lobby.
Before joining the Obama administration, he was the chairman of the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, which opposes Jews marrying non-Jews.
He supported the Iraq War and signed onto Project for a New American Century letters on Iraq (PNAC was a major player in pushing the U.S. to war with Iraq.)
In Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace, a book by Daniel Kurtzer (former U.S. ambassador to Israel) and Scott Lasensky (a former adviser to the Obama presidential campaign), one Arab negotiator is quoted as saying that “the perception always was that Dennis [Ross] started from the Israeli bottom line, that he listened to what Israel wanted and then tried to sell it to the Arabs .… He was never looked at … as a trusted world figure or as an honest broker.”
There’s a lot more where that came from. Simply put, Ross is Israel’s man in the White House.
Now why can’t Kessler spell it out like that?