Dennis Ross says Israel should unilaterally take 8% of West Bank while stating ‘it has no intention of expanding into future Palestinian state’

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 39 Comments
ross3
The summary of Dennis Ross’s plan to get the peace process back on track.
(Image: New York Times)

Yesterday Dennis Ross was at it again in his role as Israel’s lawyer, arguing for his client in the New York Times on the opening day of the AIPAC annual conference in DC. It is a very disturbing and dishonest piece. Ross advocates for Israel and in return for giving away 8 percent of their land at the outset of a “process,” the Palestinians get nothing but more requirements for what they owe their occupiers. (Whatever happened to “mutually agreed upon land swaps?”)

I was pleased to see that Noam Sheizaf has written about the op-ed today at +972, so I’ll let him do most of the heavy lifting:

Ross juxtaposes a list of “demands” from each side – which are in fact directed only at the Palestinians. They are to publicly recognize Israel’s connection to Jerusalem – despite the fact that it is the Israeli government which refuses to acknowledge Palestinians claims to the city, not vice versa. They need to include Israel in their maps – Ross knows all too well that since 2009 it has been the Israeli side that refused to open maps in the talks. And so on.

From Israel, Ross demands it stop construction of settlements beyond the separation barrier, but he accepts and even explicitly supports building projects west of it, in an area consisting of 8 percent of the West Bank. This is perhaps the most astonishing point in the article, because it: (a) encourages Israeli construction in the occupied West Bank – something the entire international community, including all American administrations, refused to do so far; (b) it accepts Israel’s interpretation of the notion of “settlement blocs,” including the Ariel and Kadumim “fingers,” which cut through the northern West Bank, and; (c) it sees the security barrier Israel unilaterally constructed on Palestinian land (and not on the internationally recognized 1949 armistice lines) as the future borders of the Palestinian State.

Thus, Ross is echoing Binaymin Netanyahu’s refusal to see the 1967 border as the starting point for any negotiations. It is worth noting that annexing 8 percent of the West Bank to Israel means dropping the idea of equal land swaps, because Israel won’t be able to come up with more than 3-4 percent of land west of the Green Line with which to compensate the Palestinians for the annexed settlement blocs.

In short, Ross’ plan puts the entire burden on the Palestinians, and accepts the Israeli leadership’s preconditions, including an unprecedented recognition of most of the settlements before negotiations even began.

 

I’ll add my thoughts to those of Sheizaf.

The opening statement that precedes the graphics is a litany of false equivalences. As for Ross’s wail about “poor Israelis, poor Palestinians” frozen in inaction by mutual distrust—give me a break. The Israelis are the colonizers and the egregious violators of international law; the Palestinians are the ones whose state is being stolen and who live under oppressive occupation. That understanding is almost universally accepted internationally, even if most are too cowardly to do anything about it. There is no equivalence.

ross1
(Image: New York Times)

And to focus on just one set of Ross’s (Wilsonian?) “fourteen points” Consider just points 1, 2, and 3, where Ross avoids parallelism, though he obviously could have asked the same of both sides (even here, however, I emphasize that the Israelis are the primary violators). Here’s what Ross asks of the Palestinians: (1) Palestinians must be willing to speak of two states. (2) Palestinians must put Israel on its maps. (3) Palestinians must commit to building their state without “encroaching” on Israel, with particular attention to rule of law.

Now check Ross’s points 1–3 for the Israelis, which having nothing to do with his points for the Palestinians, though all are relevant; that’s where Ross presumes to give Israel 8 percent of Palestine, for starters (the Palestinians haved repeatedly said they’re open to a maximum of 3 percent of equal land swaps). Ask yourself why Ross doesn’t demand of the Israelis precisely what he demands of the Palestinians as part of “confidence building.” Okay, I’ll tell you. (1) Israelis leaders, certainly Netanyahu’s party and Bennett’s, explicity oppose a Palestinian state; and the others, like Lapid, insofar as they envision one, see it as a  state of bantustans under continued Israeli control. (2) Israel government maps and maps in Israeli textbooks do not show the Green Line; it is all one state. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing for Dennis Ross to have to ‘fess up about that to the readers of the New York Times.  (3) How can Ross ask that Israel commit to building their state without encroaching on Palestine, when this is essentially precisely about encroaching on Palestine and how much Israel can take; and re Israel, to speak of the rule of law thing would be a joke.

I’ll stop there, but you get the idea. I don’t know what Ross is really aiming for with this absurd piece; its terms would certainly be no more acceptable to the Israeli colonial regime than they would be to the Palestinians. But we do know that keeping talk of two states alive in the face of the Israeli destruction of the possibility of two states serves Israeli interests by continuing to foster the illusion that Israel is a sort-of partner for something.

 
ross2
(Image: New York Times)

I’m fine with the New York Times publishing junk by Dennis Ross; but I hope we’ll see a good full-page, fact-based response soon, ideally by a Palestinian. The record needs to be set straight by the newspaper of record.

39 Responses

  1. talknic
    March 4, 2013, 12:02 pm

    One can no longer ‘unilaterally’ acquire territory. The man is stark raving insane.

    It seems to happen when one comes in contact with ziocaine

  2. pabelmont
    March 4, 2013, 12:06 pm

    What a crock. They never give up. Ross and NYT proving their Zionist bona fides. They both should register as paid foreign agents.

    BTW, only some of the Palestinians are living under a cruel occupation. A lot are living as third-class citizens in Israel — where their land and houses are still being taken away, especially the Beduins — and a lot are living in cruel exile (many of these as stateless refugees after expulsions in1948). (Most of the residents of Gaza are stateless refugees, exiled from Israel in 1948.)

  3. just
    March 4, 2013, 12:25 pm

    Sadly, it seems that my paranoia and cynicism were well- founded. Ross is a foreign agent!

    Did all those Presidents really not know, or did they not care because they silently gave their assent to what has happened while saying something else entirely?

  4. seafoid
    March 4, 2013, 12:27 pm

    8% of the West Bank sounds very reasonable. Until you look at how Israel defines the west Bank. Israel does not consider East Jerusalem to be part of the West Bank so it is off limits in any discussion. PFO, Dennis.

  5. Citizen
    March 4, 2013, 12:47 pm

    Why do Ross, and the likes of Kristol and that walrus-mustached guy still have TV pundit cred in the US mainstream media? I wish more Americans were aware of these failures, these Israel Firsters and US warfare business advocates. Why doesn’t MSNBC at least make a point of telling Americans about these leftover neocons with their stupid dreams? LOL. Yeah, just waiting like Godot for Chris M & Rachel M….

  6. American
    March 4, 2013, 12:57 pm

    Just more of the same from Ross. I- First is I-First always and incurable.

    Every time now that I think or read about Israel, I/P, US what I think of most is the “big picture” of the beginning and on going insanity of how it has unfolded in all this because the truth is:
    The US never owed the Jews for WWII or the Holocaust.
    The US had no part in it and in fact neither the US or allies could have prevented it, the only way it could have been stopped was to stop the Germans, which is what the allies finally did.
    We have no ‘moral obligation’ to Jews and Israel as the I -Firster propaganda constantly claims and tells the public.
    Even if we had it would have been fulfilled and paid off long ago in everything that has been done for Jews and Israel.
    All these lies and machinations and manipulations and corruptions for the zionist cult of Israel, and the uncountable cost to America and Palestines and other chosen enemies of the zionist and Israel.

    Everything involved in US-Island Palestine deal is the sole result of the Zionist infiltration into US politics and government from 1947 and even before.
    If that sounds like a conspiracy theory, too bad, no apologies, because it is true , that is how Americans and the US were manipulated for Israel to the point of the displays we see now in our government for a foreign country. ..and a criminal one at that.

    Most of all it shows how fragile a democracy is, because it can be manipulated and corrupted so easily under the guise of ‘right to petition’ and diversity’ and ‘representation’ by those with an personal agenda…and by leaders always willing to be corrupted for their own political careers.

    It might not be the saddest thing that has ever happened in the world, but it’s got to be on the list as at least one of the saddest that ever happened to the US.

    All the destruction and waste this cult has caused everyone involved is too much to forgive.

  7. djhicks2790
    March 4, 2013, 1:17 pm

    What is it John McEnroe used to yell on the tennis court in utter disbelief? ‘You’ve got to be kidding!’

  8. kalithea
    March 4, 2013, 1:54 pm

    FOCK HIM!

    Liars, thieves, terrorists and murderers of Palestinian babies deserve only the karma that I have no doubt whatsoever is catching up with them!

  9. Avi_G.
    March 4, 2013, 2:21 pm

    That’s funny because when Israel built the Apartheid Wall, it built it deep into Palestinian land, east of the 1967 line, thus annexing 8% of Palestinian land.

    So is this another 8% in addition to the other 8%, or is this the same 8%?

  10. James Canning
    March 4, 2013, 2:37 pm

    The “sparation barrier” should have been build on the Green LIne.

  11. Shingo
    March 4, 2013, 2:47 pm

    Rule of law huh?

    Norman Finkelstein eat your heart out!

  12. piotr
    March 4, 2013, 3:14 pm

    n “Area C,” which represents 60.1 percent of the West Bank’s territory and in which Israel retains civil and security responsibility, Palestinians would be permitted economic access, activity and ownership.

    I can’t express well what I think about it, my English is too poor. In Polish there is a word “laskawca” (laska is mercy or favor) for someone showing good will in a manner utterly conceited and underwhelming.

  13. Woody Tanaka
    March 4, 2013, 3:40 pm

    What the US can do:

    Stop Fellating Donkeys.

  14. ToivoS
    March 4, 2013, 3:50 pm

    Dennis Ross is good at giving advice that would lead the US into perpetual war. It is not surprising to see him giving Israel similar advice.

    Since losing his Iranian portfolio at State he has been giving interviews advocating a US posture that can only lead to war with Iran. I suspect that he singlehandedly torpedoed (with backing from Hillary, of course) Obama’s vague notion of making peace with the Iranians. Putting Ross in such a position of influence has to be one of Obama’s stupider appointments.

  15. James Canning
    March 4, 2013, 4:37 pm

    ToivoS – - And Obama continues to seek advice from Dennis Ross. Some might think this has a good deal to do with campaign contributions.

    • kalithea
      March 4, 2013, 7:33 pm

      More likely has to do with this:

      Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different
      results

    • Avi_G.
      March 5, 2013, 7:22 am

      It has to do with Obama owing his entire political career to the Jewish Chicago political establishment.

      • James Canning
        March 5, 2013, 1:52 pm

        Fair statement, it would seem.

  16. Ramzi Jaber
    March 4, 2013, 7:52 pm

    Getting really tired of the same c#*p. Philip Gordon = Dennis Ross. Same old same old. Need a US President with cojones or else it’s same old same old!

  17. DICKERSON3870
    March 4, 2013, 10:01 pm

    RE: “Palestinians must commit to building their state without “encroaching” on Israel, with particular attention to rule of law.“ ~ Ross’ point #3

    REGARDING THE CONCEPT OF “ENCROACHING”, SEE THIS FOR ISRAEL’S VIEW OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AS “A GAME”. – “The Second Battle of Gaza: Israel’s Undermining Of International Law”, by Jeff Halper, 02/22/1

    [EXCERPT] A few years ago (April 15, 2005, p. 34) the ‘Up Front’ weekend magazine of ‘The Jerusalem Post’ published an interview with an Israeli “expert in international law” who, tellingly, chose to remain anonymous. This what s/he said:
    International law is the language of the world and it’s more or less the yardstick by which we measure ourselves today. It’s the lingua franca of international organizations. So you have to play the game if you want to be a member of the world community. And the game works like this. As long as you claim you are working within international law and you come up with a reasonable argument as to why what you are doing is within the context of international law, you’re fine. That’s how it goes. [JLD: "so it goes" ~ Kurt Vonnegut] This is a very cynical view of how the world works. So, even if you’re being inventive, or even if you’re being a bit radical, as long as you can explain it in that context, most countries will not say you’re a war criminal. . .

    SOURCE – link to alternativenews.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      March 4, 2013, 10:18 pm

      P.S. The link for the source at alternativenews.org no longer works, but Halper’s excellent article is available at mrzine.monthlyreview.org. – link to mrzine.monthlyreview.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      March 4, 2013, 10:39 pm

      P.P.S. ANOTHER EXCERPT FROM HARPER’S ARTICLE:

      . . . Since Ariel Sharon was indicted by a Belgian court in 2001 over his involvement in the Sabra and Chatila massacres and Israel faced accusations of war crimes in the wake of its 2002 invasion of the cities of the West Bank, with its high toll in civilian casualties (some 500 people killed, 1,500 wounded, more than 4,000 arrested), hundreds of homes demolished and the urban infrastructure utterly destroyed, Israel has adopted a bold and aggressive strategy: alter international law so that non-state actors caught in a conflict with states and deemed by the states as “non-legitimate actors” (“terrorists,” “insurgents” and “non-state actors,” as well as the civilian population that supports them) can no longer claim protection from invading armies. The urgency of this campaign has been underscored by a series of notable setbacks Israel subsequently incurred at the hands of the UN. In 2004, at the request of the General Assembly, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that Israel’s construction of wall inside Palestinian territory is “contrary to international law” and must be dismantled — a ruling adopted almost unanimously by the General Assembly, with only Israel, the US, Australia, and a few Pacific atolls dissenting. In 2006 the UN Commission of Inquiry concluded that “asignificant pattern of excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force by the IDF against Lebanese civilians and civilian objects, failing to distinguish civilians from combatants and civilian objects from military targets.” The harsh criticism of the UN’s Goldstone report on Gaza accusing the Israeli government and military again of targeting Palestinian civilians and causing disproportionate destruction has made this campaign even more urgent. . .”

      SOURCE – link to mrzine.monthlyreview.org

      • DICKERSON3870
        March 4, 2013, 10:49 pm

        RE: Israel has adopted a bold and aggressive strategy: alter international law so that non-state actors caught in a conflict with states and deemed by the states as “non-legitimate actors” (“terrorists,” “insurgents” and “non-state actors,” as well as the civilian population that supports them) can no longer claim protection from invading armies. ~ Halper

        MY COMMENT: Israel’s undermining of international law (The law is whatever we say it is!) is yet another reason I fear that Revisionist Zionism and Likudnik Israel (specifically by virtue of their inordinate sway over the U.S.) might very well be an “existential threat” to the values of The Enlightenment [like "the right of free speech"] ! ! !
        “Down, down, down we [the U.S.] go into the deep, dark abyss; hand in hand with Israel.”

        OTHER EXAMPLES OF ISRAEL’S VALUES TRUMPING (OVERRIDING) THE VALUES OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT HERE IN THE U.S.
        “How We Became Israel”, By Andrew J. Bacevich, The American Conservative, 9/10/12
        LINK – link to theamericanconservative.com
        “America Adopts the Israel Paradigm”, by Philip Ghiraldi, Antiwar.com, 7/05/12
        LINK – link to original.antiwar.com
        “Report: Israeli model underlies militarization of U.S. police”, By Muriel Kane, Raw Story, 12/04/11
        LINK – link to rawstory.com
        From Occupation to “Occupy”: The Israelification of American Domestic Security, By Max Blumenthal, Al-akhbar, 12/02/11
        LINK – link to english.al-akhbar.com OR link to informationclearinghouse.info
        “The Trial of Israel’s Campus Critics”, by David Theo Goldberg & Saree Makdisi, Tikkun Magazine, September/October 2009
        LINK – link to tikkun.org
        “Brooklyn College’s academic freedom increasingly threatened over Israel event”, by Glenn Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, 2/02/13
        LINK – link to guardian.co.uk
        ‘Israelis are helping write US laws, fund US campaigns, craft US war policy’, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 6/30/12
        LINK – link to mondoweiss.net
        “David Yerushalmi, Islam-Hating White Supremacist Inspires Anti-Sharia Bills Sweeping Tea Party Nation”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 3/02/11
        LINK – link to richardsilverstein.com
        “Boston airport security program rife with racial profiling has Israeli links”, by Alex Kane, Mondoweiss, 8/14/12
        LINK – link to mondoweiss.net
        “Obama’s kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza”, By Glenn Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, 11/15/12
        LINK – link to guardian.co.uk

        P.P.P.P.S. AND HERE’S ANOTHER THREAT TO THE VALUES OF “THE ENLIGHTENMENT” (THIS TIME IN AFRICA):
        “US Religious Right Propelling Homophobia in African Countries”
        , by Common Dreams, 7/24/12
        LINK – link to commondreams.org

  18. Sin Nombre
    March 4, 2013, 10:11 pm

    You know, the real problem with this sort of thing from the Rosses of the world isn’t in arguing against their substance. They are, after all, just one more step in an entire career of advocating such steps, all just privileging Israel and the Israelis of course. And while yesterday they said “mutually agreed upon swaps” (all the while delaying things while Israel was gobbling the pizza and never calling for the U.S. to demand that same stop), and today they are saying “8%,” tomorrow as everyone knows it will be 12%, or 15%, or turning a blind eye to this bit of ethnic cleansing, and then that bit.

    In fact arguing their substance is just what keeps them going, especially since the vast majority of them are just delaying/diverting maneuvers. But even when not, what the responses that a Ross will get for this?

    Oh, just more polite versions of what we see here mostly: Earnest and endless dissection of the alleged idea/proposal, talking talking talking politely that implicitly accepts a Ross’s bona fides. Does nothing but, if anything, bolstering the idea of Ross as being acceptable to listen to, and indeed be appointed to high positions in the U.S. government.

    And yet, right there in front of everyone’s eyes—but coming out of no-body’s mouth—is the blatant reality calling the Rosses out for what they are. Explaining what is really motivating them and why they ought not be accepted into polite society much less governmental service: They are jewish supremacists, pure and simple. And their records offer indisputable evidence that they have never acted as anything but, much less American patriots looking out for U.S. interests.

    But no … don’t call them out on this. Don’t call out their ideas showing this as their basis. Never make them answer even the simplest, most fundamental questions such as … “Do you or do you not believe in putting U.S. interests over the interests of Israel?” Or “do you or do you not believe that the U.S. should regard the arabs and the jewish Israelis as being of fundamental equal worth?”

    Allow them in essence to continue their masquerade. So that they can appear even before college crowds and no-one will call them a jewish supremacist, so alerting others to the kind of person they are.

    David Duke only wishes he could get this kind of treatment: The refusal to examine the man’s beliefs and instead the never-ending polite debates after debates about the substance of his never-ending proposals. The inability of anyone to properly identify him. The studious pretense that he’s coming from some acceptable premises.

    Wanna see the AIPAC crowd start to behave differently and things change? See them after the demonstrators outside start calling them jewish supremacists and that starts to get even a touch of major media attention. See them after *that* starts to get debated a bit and they have to respond to *that* instead of just the alleged substance of their latest demand.

    The supremacism is *the* fight here. The core of things. The explainer. The engine driving things. So how does anyone believe you are ever going to get a resolution of the problems it causes if that is never even *talked* about?

    • Shingo
      March 6, 2013, 6:50 am

      And while yesterday they said “mutually agreed upon swaps” (all the while delaying things while Israel was gobbling the pizza and never calling for the U.S. to demand that same stop), and today they are saying “8%,” tomorrow as everyone knows it will be 12%, or 15%, or turning a blind eye to this bit of ethnic cleansing, and then that bit.

      They don’t need to go beyond 8%. As this analysis shows, the 6-8% is all they need (provided it is the land they want) to make a Palestinian state unviable. Bearing in mind that the 6-8% does not include Jordan Valley.

      “Have you noticed how remarkably consistent that figure is, that successive Israeli PMs insist on annexing from the West Bank? Barak insists on 6 – 8 per cent. Sharon wanted 8 per cent. Now Olmert wants 7.3 per cent. If Israeli governments are willing to give up more than 90 per cent of the West Bank (less the Jordan Valley, less East Jerusalem) for a Palestinian state, what is that last 6 – 8 per cent that they can’t let go of? It seems such a small amount to stall on, if you’re already offering 93 per cent.

      The answer of course is that the percentages themselves are not significant. It’s not so important that Israel wants to keep 6 – 8 per cent, what is significant is where that 6 – 8 per cent is, and what purpose does it serve Israel to hold on to it. Look back to what I wrote under point one of this post, about how the unchanging Israeli plan for the West Bank over the last 40 years is to control the West bank by cutting off the Palestinians from Jerusalem, from the outside world, from their arable and water resources, and from each other. That is where the significance of the last 6 – 8 per cent lies. “

      link to lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com

      • Sibiriak
        March 6, 2013, 8:29 am

        Shingo, excellent analysis and quote.

  19. Sumud
    March 4, 2013, 10:17 pm

    Can someone with knowledge of Oslo please explain what has happened to the division of Area A, B and C since the 90s?

    Ross indicates they make up 18, 22 and 60% of the West Bank respectively, relevant wiki pages also say the same:

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    But the second link also lists 1995 figures that have Area A at about 3% and Area B at 25%.

    Were agreed changes made as the Area divisions moved from proposal to implementation? Or has Israel made unilateral changes?

    • Bumblebye
      March 7, 2013, 4:19 pm

      Maybe Sodastream knows. This is their ‘explanation’ of where the things are made:

      “In a letter sent to the head office of Leekes, a homeware store with outlets in England and Wales, SodaStream wrote: “One of our many manufacturing and assembly sites is located in a city called Mishor Adumim, which is in ‘Area C’ of the currently disputed territory in Israel.””

      This in response to queries by the store after activists had raised the issue with them.

      link to electronicintifada.net

  20. piotr
    March 5, 2013, 5:28 am

    Some European Jews can trace their ancestry to ancient Palestine, and some from the mysterious state of Khazars. Yet other come from

    Chełm, a town reputed in jokes to be inhabited by fools. The jokes were almost always centred on silly solutions to problems.

    I was annoyed by columns of Richard Cohen because he acknowledges that there are problem and then offers despair, even thought USA could solve them quite quickly given political will. Reading Ross, I truly feel despair.

    I agree that points 1-3 are the “money quotes”, but somehow even Ross felt that the full package should include something YET MORE POSITIVE. But what!? I suspect that we see a product of many sleepless nights.

  21. merlot
    March 5, 2013, 9:33 am

    My reinterpretation of Ross’s 14 points:

    What Israelis can do:
    1. Understand that we have your back. Be confident that negotiations over borders won’t threaten your “interests”. We have already determined what borders should be and what portions of the “future” Palestinian state you can take.
    2. Only steal land where we tell you that you can steal land. Theft is only acceptable if we approve. Only give people incentives to move into settlements that we approve. In this way we can ignore your illegal actions.
    3. Always prioritize the settlers. Spend even more money on building them housing. Continue to ignore the incredible disparities in Israel and the needs of Palestinian citizens of Israel
    4. Regarding Area C – show your generosity. “Permit” Palestinians to own and use land in the 60% of the West Bank you control. Everyone in the world will then see how magnanimous you are. Just think about it, Palestinians recognized as owning and able to work the land to which they hold title! But don’t worry, if you don’t do this we won’t call you out on continued home demolitions, movement restrictions, settler violence, and the denied access to water, electricity, medical facilities, health facilities in these areas. Ethnic cleansing. We don’t see it.
    5. Regarding Area B – you have co-opted the PA security services so why not subcontract? It’s cheaper.
    6. On Area A –subcontract, subcontract, subcontract.

    What Palestinian can do:
    1. Speak about two states – The explicit calls for two states made by the PA in the statehood bid, the Oslo accords, at every negotiation session, and in every major speech by a PA official are not enough. After all, it’s not really two states that we want you to accept but rather our version of two states, i.e. limited Bantustans. Palestinians must accept this fact.
    2. Show Israel on your maps. Which maps? I don’t know, but maps are important. By doing this you will reassure Israel that it is safe in a way that recognition by the international community and having one of the strongest militaries in the world never will. Making Israelis feel comfortable is key. Don’t expect Israel to reciprocate. After all, Israel doesn’t have set borders so how can it draw them on a map? Also, we have told them they can annex large parts of the West Bank so drawing borders on a map would be awkward and might “prejudice” negotiations.
    3. Make clear your commitment to building the state of Palestine without encroaching on Israel. I have no idea what this means, but I need one more point so that I can be balanced.
    4. Never call for accountability and stop speaking about your rights. Stop being haters. Stop being bloodthirsty, savage, terrorists. Do I sound racist? I hope I don’t sound racist.
    5. Accept that you are going to get screwed. Prepare the Palestinian public to get screwed.
    6. As a continuation of the above point, start building nicer homes for refugees where they are because the right of return is a nonstarter. Palestinians must accept that maintaining Jewish ethnic entitlement in Israel should and always will trump quaint concepts like equality for all and universal rights.

    What Palestinians and Israelis can do together:
    1. Normalize. If Avi and Ahmed go to summer camp together they will recognize how much they have in common, i.e. a love of soccer. This will make Avi a more compassionate solider and Ahmed will know that he has something in common with his oppressor. It’s a win-win situation and a sure fire way to bring peace. Forget addressing structural violence and oppression, summer camps are the solution.
    2. Be nice. Can’t we all just get along?

    • piotr
      March 5, 2013, 1:12 pm

      merlot, I appreciate your effort and Ilene’s. Ross is such a monumental idiot, and so Establishment that it is hard to list all idiocies in a relatively short Op-Ed.

      It is not the case that there are no serious two staters with a serious vision of a productive peace process. The most recent program of Meretz party is an example. What Ross does is pure poison. But in the circles where he communicates it may seem “moderate”. After all, however laughable Ross’s points are, Israeli government will do none of that! Then what?

      Without sanctions on the table, oppression and expansion of settlements will continue, “Peace Process a la Ross” is simply part of rhetoric “no! this would hurt the peace process!” as a component of arguments why “there should be no daylight between USA and Israel”. Those arguments have two tracks: Israel as an ally against Muslim hordes that may overrun Christians any minute (be afraid!) and shares our religious values, and the “liberal track”.

      But Ross spent too much time with Israeli politicians to be able to present even a semi-credible liberal track. For example, the ONLY positives he deigns to note in PA is the programs of oppression, arbitrary detentions, and his vision of the future is that Palestinians will acknowledge good deeds of Israel, like treating the wounded demonstrators free of charge and recruiting other desperately sick people to be informers — in exchange for free medical treatment, and actually passing their share of tax money, and if Palestinian program of arbitrary detentions is vigorous enough, Israel should also mention it favorably. (Compared with another hypocritical liberal track op-ed proposing that we should demand democratization from PA.)

      In the light of constant villification of Abbas by Lieberman and other ministers, this would actually be “progress”. I guess this is how the item landed at Ross’s “to do” list. And other laughable items, like recognizing that Palestinians are allowed to breath, drink water etc. in Area C, would be also “progress”.

  22. piotr
    March 6, 2013, 1:47 am

    Merlot: “Show Israel on your maps. Which maps? ”

    I am a bit of map junkie, and there is a bit of a problem here. How to tell a Palestinian map from an Israeli map? (a) different alphabets (b) Israel map include Golan. Is Ross objecting to the alphabet, or to the exclusion of Golan?

    To use a Japanese expression, Ross is brewing tea in his own navel.

    Apparently, Ross is circulating his plan since last summer. Given that he proposes quite radical departure from the official US policy, one should question why such a person was quite recently working as US diplomat (explaining one of “crimes of Hagel”, namely saying that US State Department works for Israel). Ross is making a good living in an amazingly well funded millieu of foreign policy think tanks. I was just checking on the article in JP describing his 12 step (he added a few mutual steps for NYT) and I encountered that:

    The Book of Esther: A political analysis
    By BARRY RUBIN
    03/03/2013 21:59

    The author is the director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center. http://www.gloria-center.org Hic transit gloria mundi Research center?

    [Haman was a very bad man]
    In contrast is Mordecai’s behavior.

    Made prime minister with absolute power by the king in Haman’s place, Mordecai does not seek to make the Jews the rulers (belying The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Islamist ideology) but only utilizes his authority for defensive purposes.

    The king’s decree permitted the Jews to “Assemble and fight for their lives, if any people or province attacks them” and inflict unlimited vengeance. True, the retribution is horrible in modern-day terms, extending to the innocent members of families, but limited in the context of that era.

    From Wiki: “the king allows the Jews to defend themselves during attacks. As a result, on 13 Adar, five hundred attackers and Haman’s ten sons are killed in Shushan, followed by a Jewish slaughter of seventy-five thousand Persians, although they took no plunder.” Actually, the killed were not Persian but Amelek, which is sometimes interpreted as Armenians — hence spitting at Armenians during Purim, and like many of the worst atrocity of the Bible, the Purim story seems fictitious. In any case, a charming piece of inspiration.

    • merlot
      March 6, 2013, 9:10 am

      Just to be clear, my post is a tongue in cheek parody written in about 10 minutes. The idea is that it is written as if Ross were saying what he really thinks and it corresponds to his article point for point. The question about maps then is not mine, but rather my rewording of Ross’s point, and making the point that requesting that Palestinians deliniate borders on their maps is completely ridiculous. The fact is that there really aren’t any Palestinian maps being produced unless Ross is refering to maps in school books (which are paid for by USAID, the UE, and the UN). If this is the case (which I suspect) then he is just repeating the same garbage propaganda spewed by every other Israel apologist. Anyway, I just wanted to clarify that my post is meant to be mocking Ross’s position, not interpreting it, in case that wasn’t clear.

  23. simonsj
    March 7, 2013, 2:45 pm

    I don’t disagree with all the points about the imbalance between Ross’s expectations of the Israeli government and the PA. But I think Ross is also asking the PA to do the impossible: to assuage Jewish Israeli insecurity. link to israelipeaceimages.com

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