Opinion

Dennis Ross’s advice to Trump is ‘bullshit, delusional or lying,’ to gut two-state concept — Peace Now

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Dennis Ross and David Makovsky, committed supporters of Israel who also served as White House mediators of the conflict, have published a paper offering Donald Trump “a new paradigm” for managing the Israel-Palestine conflict. You won’t be able to negotiate a two-state solution, they say; the two parties have a “dysfunctional relationship.” But Israel needs to do something soon, or it will lose legitimacy internationally.

Israel should promise not to annex the West Bank beyond the separation barrier, and not build settlements outside the major “blocs” in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, say Ross and Makovsky. In other words, Israel gets Jerusalem and gets to declare the borders of two states (and gets 8 percent of the already-whittled-down West Bank).

The paper is published by the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (a spinoff of the Israel lobby group AIPAC) and repeatedly uses the word “pressure,” but only with regard to pressure on Palestinians– to stop them from “trying to internationalize the conflict in a way that also seeks to delegitimize Israel’s existence.”

In an accompanying video, Dennis Ross repeatedly uses the word “pressure” to characterize what the U.S. and the Arab world should apply to Palestinians, as if Palestinians have been intransigent, not Israel.

Ross says that his plan is urgent because Israel and Palestine are in a stalemate, slipping toward a one-state reality and that endangers both Israel’s future as a Jewish state, and stability.

Today the younger generation of Palestinians basically has an attitude that Israel should stay where it is and let’s just have one person one vote. If nothing changes, the direction is going to be that as an outcome. And that doesn’t serve Israel’s interest and it doesn’t serve the interest of stability in the region. a binational state can’t work in terms of providing stability, because you have two national identities. Look at the Middle East and you’ll see wherever there are two national identities, they are at war with each other. So if we don’t want that to be the outcome, then we need to find a way to break the stalemate.

In return for Israel agreeing not to annex the West Bank and stopping building outside the blocs and East Jerusalem, Ross says, the U.S. will go to bat for Israel against Palestinian efforts to “internationalize the conflict,” including at the U.N. Europe must also “fight delegitimization,” by pressuring the Palestinians. And so must the Arabs.

The proposal, Ross says, is aimed at “restoring a sense of possibility, which has been lost, restoring a sense of belief, which has been lost.”

One obvious flaw in the Ross/Makovsky proposal is that it would OK a huge landgrab by Israel, including of East Jerusalem, that would deny any real possibility of Palestinian sovereignty. Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now wrote a series of bracing and lacerating tweets on the recommendations, noting that it guts the concept of a two-state solution. There is no pressure on Israel, only on Palestinians, she says.

Breaking news! Ross/Makovsky offer new approach to MEPP [Middle East Peace Process]… Which looks a lot like the old Ross approach. So Ross/Makovsky endorse imposed solution that takes key areas of the W. Bank permanently off the negotiating table.

But wait! Doesn’t everyone oppose imposing these things? Oh right, that’s only imposing things on Israel, not the Palestinians…

And Ross/Makovsky endorse US green lighting Israeli actions that de facto take Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem off table…

And Ross/Makovsky contend/pretend this is all consistent with keeping hope of 2-states alive for the future

This is bullshit – delusional or lying. Would GUT very concept of the 2-state solution. I broke down why here: Ross et al are experts in how NOT to make peace. Now as ever, alt-facts & alt-logic will not bring peace/stability /security to Isr-Pal.

Ross was famously Israel’s lawyer when he was a White House mediator. He said in a NY synagogue last year that American Jews must be advocates for Israel and not Palestine.

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Leopards don’t change their spots. We may know more what the orange guy thinks after February 15th. After he meets with Bibi. I’m sure Jared Kushner will be present. My bet is Trump will take Ross’s plan as his own, which is why Ross had presented it now. Will be… Read more »

WHAT NEXT FOR PALESTINE? I have been reflecting for a couple of months on WHAT NEXT for us Palestinians?? I’d like to share my thoughts with you so I can benefit from your critique and input. To start with, some quick perspective on recent events… events that we wasted yet… Read more »

But it will be a step forward if there is a real proposal on the table really open for discussion. As the details of the situation become exposed there will be a chance to for the injustices, both of the status quo and of anything that Mr. Ross and those… Read more »

BBC world service news has had a series wandering around I/P this week. Today though, I think they got to the nub of the matter. Interviewing a settler woman, Nadia Mattar (sp) from Neve Daniel, whose argument was that there had been the spate of “terror” not because the Palestinians… Read more »

The US should do nothing to encourage Israel’s attempts to establish a border with Palestine, by building illegal settlements and security barriers in the occupied West Bank.