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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.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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33 Responses

  1. Citizen on February 3, 2017, 2:27 pm

    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 horridly entertaining how Trump will spin it for US public TV consumption–best thing since sliced bread! Don’t know why nobody thought if it before! Ditto, the cable TV news/infotainment show oral stenographers. Fox News girls at Outnumbered will be the most ghastly fun. Wolf will give us the ponderous look, Hannity, the earnest look, Rachel Maddow, the glib, clever look. Chris H, the same.

  2. ramzijaber on February 3, 2017, 4:25 pm


    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 another full year waiting for, hoping that someone will miraculously help us or will be “kind” to do something for us:

    i- The platforms of the US Democratic and Republican parties do not mention two-state or Palestine. In fact, they regressed from past positions and are now pseudo-Likud positions.

    ii- Candidate Trump said he wanted to be fair and impartial so he can make the “ultimate deal”. Zionists (Israeli and American) pounced on him and pushed him to take an extreme pro-Israel stand, as always happens with any US political figure. Then he said the reason there is no peace is that Palestinians were given too much. Imagine!

    iii- President Trump is surrounding himself with Zionists that make Nutnyahoo look like a liberal lefty and AIPAC look like a Palestinian lobbyist! This includes his son-in-law who pays money for illegal settlements, his friend the new ambassador how lives in a settlement, and fanatic Graham who is chairing a committee to reform higher education.

    iv- Nutnyahoo adds settlements and Trump says nothing. Trump will meet Nutnyahoo on Feb 15. Trump has NOT contacted any Palestinian and didn’t even answer any of the letters that the PA sent to him and his team.

    v- UNSC resolution was just more words with no action plan, no timeline, and no consequences. Obama/Kerry weakened it. Even Israeli left was against it.

    vi- The Paris meeting was a joke. Again, Obama/Kerry totally destroyed any of its initial potentially positive potential, cowering cowardly under Zionist pressure.

    vii- The role and response of the US, Australia, Egypt, and Russia in the UNSC and Paris events clearly tell us that this path is a waste of time.

    No more waiting for UN to issue yet another meaningless resolution, or hoping for some EU crumbs, or praying for USA to “ingratiate” us with convincing Zionists to delay settlement expansion by a few days, or expecting some Arab dictator will really do anything for us. All laughable actions with false hopes.

    Instead, we must recognize that none of these actors did anything for us in decades. What does that mean? Quite simply it means this: THEY DO NOT WANT TO ESTABLISH A STATE OF PALESTINE! No other reason. Because if they really wanted to, Palestine would be celebrating its 30th or 40th independence anniversary.

    We must also keep in mind that Zionists continue to connive and continue to be canny; they are not sitting on their laurels. They continue to paint us as terrorists, entice the fundamentalist Christians in USA against us, coerce Arab dictators to have side deals with them using Iran as the wedge, and sell their technology and oppression assets to world dictators so they side with them.

    So no more illusions. No more dependency on others. We have to do it ourselves.

    Here is what I believe our PATH FORWARD should be:

    1- Declare that 2-state solution is no longer possible due to Zionist actions and that we will now pursue a 1S1P1V strategy with equality for all.

    2- Annul all agreements with Israel and dissolve all PA institutions, returning total responsibility of Palestine to Israel.

    3- Unite all Palestinian groups under one organization.

    4- Develop a cohesive communication strategy founded on explaining in PLAIN language the “Day in a Life” of Palestinians under colonial occupation.

    5- Mobilize the entire Palestinian population in Palestine for daily non-violent mass demonstrations demanding freedom, civil rights, and human rights.

    This last point is THE CORNERSTONE of the strategy. It is ONLY through the continual daily involvement of ALL Palestinians under occupation that we can achieve our goal. So we have to ask ourselves: WHAT IS OUR GOAL? Do we want to do be free? Or are we happy with the current situation, living under military occupation?

    That is the true moment of truth, the moment of clarity, for all of us Palestinians.

    Time to decide. Time to act.

    • Maghlawatan on February 3, 2017, 4:41 pm

      Sah kalamak wa sah kalam abuak

      Palestinians have to act coherently

    • gamal on February 3, 2017, 7:07 pm

      Ramzi not many people can make me cringe in shame, you going to have lead us out the nightmare we are trapped in, let the Palestinian shepherds lead us, i think Arab children will take me by my hand and save me from blindness and paralysis,

      i would follow Ms.Zoabi anywhere, she never calls due to my insignificance, Arabs have 10million times the social capital of euro/americans, i ain’t joking you going to have save us, in the west we don’t know shit from shinola, helpless.

    • echinococcus on February 4, 2017, 12:31 am


      The facts you list look all correct.
      Conclusions and tactics your business, as I have no skin in this game. The main conclusions seem to be supported by good old-fashioned logic, something not geographically restricted.
      They avoid nonsense, i.e.:
      Resistance under the full equivalent of a Nazi occupation, while collaborating with a Zionist police posing as local “authority”? Without a center outside the reach of the Zionists/US?
      A people (no matter where in the world) satisfied that they received justice and accounts are settled without at least a plausible appearance of full restitution of land and sovereignty? An interim compromise Oslo-style, where the US+Zionists again “concede” –to officialize the Zio-dominated single state?

      • JWalters on February 4, 2017, 5:30 pm

        If you live in the U.S. or Europe I would suggest you have skin in this game, since both are being dominated and tyrannized by Israel. This tyranny is the biggest political story in the U.S. and Europe, but their press and politicians are afraid to speak what they all know. War and economic subjugation are Israel’s sociopathic methods and goals, and affect whole societies.

      • echinococcus on February 5, 2017, 6:30 am


        Sure, we’re all affected and justifiably concerned but only the Palestinians and directly aggressed people are on the front lines and have a say in how to conduct their affairs. Shortcut idioms always end up being inadequate.

      • JWalters on February 6, 2017, 1:11 am


        I agree. I used to say “I have no dog in this fight” to express my neutral objectivity, being neither Jewish nor Muslim. Now I see members of my family threatened by another war “Made in Israel”. America needs to boycott that war.

    • Donald on February 4, 2017, 3:40 pm

      That all seems correct to me. The facts are accurate and the reasoning seems pretty straightforward. I like your plan,, but of course it is Palestinians whose support you need.

    • Eva Smagacz on February 5, 2017, 8:44 am

      Norman Finkelstein have raised legitimate points about this outcome (one state) :

      1. This will prevent any of the refugees from being able to return to anywhere in Palestine.
      2. Zionists will be able to consider their treatment of Palestinians as a internal matter for Israel, and the international community will have less /no opportunity to allocate funds to Palestinians to redress the balance in any way.

      There are many other concerns, but these were main ones.

      I can add from myself:

      3. It will be Zionists who will decide who votes and who counts those votes.

      • HarryLaw on February 5, 2017, 3:07 pm

        Eva, “It will be Zionists who will decide who votes” I agree with you, Naftali Bennett wants to see areas A and B in the West Bank as semi autonomous zones without sovereignty, and administered by the Palestinians. No Knesset membership for them of course, they may be allowed to vote for the local PA or Hamas representative etc. Similar to the Bantustans in South Africa. Of course this is not entirely without precedent, here in the mother of Parliaments the United Kingdom of Gt Britain and Northern Ireland, one and a half million UK citizens were not allowed to vote for the parties that governed them. The Labour, Conservative and LibDem Parties, until just recently, refused to let residents of N Ireland join their parties as members or contest elections there, therefore no one in N Ireland could vote for the political parties that actually governed them at Westminster, essentially they had no vote. Bennett could be trying to pull the same stunt in the West Bank, how many will go along with him, when he can, along with the International community, guarantee those collaborating types unlimited funding?

    • Blownaway on February 6, 2017, 2:46 pm

      The only thing that keeps the Zionists awake is one state. The only thing that lets them fall asleep is knowing that Abbas is there to prevent it. Points one and two in the solution phase will be the catalyst to prevent continued “management” of the problem and spur a solution

  3. MHughes976 on February 3, 2017, 4:50 pm

    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 of his school are likely to propose, to be made much plainer than they now are.

  4. Bumblebye on February 3, 2017, 5:09 pm

    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 had lost hope, but because they *did* have hope of their own state – and that hope must be “wiped out”.

    • gamal on February 3, 2017, 6:54 pm

      “Nadia Mattar”

      is she related to Ahmed

      Take your precautions, passersby
      خطاكم على جثتي نازلة
      Your footsteps fall on my body
      وصمتي سخاء
      And my silence is generosity
      لأن التراب صميم البقاء
      Because dust is the seed of eternity
      وأن الخطى زائلة
      And footsteps are ephemeral

      ولكن إذا ما حبستم بصدري الهواء
      But if you cage the air in my chest
      سلوا الأرض عن مبدأ الزلزلة
      Ask the earth about the beginning of the earthquake
      سلوا عن جنوني ضمير الشتاء
      Ask the conscience of winter about my madness
      أنا الغيمة المثقلة
      I am the burdened cloud,
      إذا أجهشت بالبكاء
      Which when it weeps
      فإن الصواعق في دمعها مرسلة
      Sends lightning with its tears

      أجل إنني أنحني فاشهدوا ذلتي الباسلة
      Yes, I bow, so bear witness to my valiant humiliation
      فلا تنحني الشمس إلا لتبلغ قلب السماء
      For the sun does not bow except to reach the heart of the sky
      ولا تنحني السنبلة
      Nor does the wheat stalk bow
      إذا لم تكن مثقلة
      If it is not burdened
      ولكنها ساعة الإنحناء
      But in the hour of its bowing
      تواري بذور البقاء
      It hides the seeds of its survival
      فتخفي برحم الثرى ثورة مقبلة
      Concealing in the earth’s womb a coming revolution.

      أجل إنني أنحني تحت سيف العناء
      Yes, I bow under the sword of oppression
      ولكن صمتي هو الجلجلة
      But my silence is deafening
      وذل انحنائي هو الكبرياء
      And my humiliation is pride
      لأني أبالغ في الإنحناء
      Because I exaggerate in bowing
      لكي أزرع القنـبـلة
      To plant the bomb

      – Ahmad Matar

      man he wrote that thing for Arabs, but Americans may like it and this

      “the alarm clock woke me

      and told me ya Arab

      its time to sleep”

      his sister is weird. mattar not as solid as it seems

      • bintbiba on February 4, 2017, 12:18 pm

        gamal ,

        thank you for also including the original powerful , beautiful Arabic text !

        [ ‘ Nadia Mattar’ , she notoriously of Gaza settler forced decamping episode ! ]

    • echinococcus on February 3, 2017, 10:43 pm


      argument was that there had been the spate of “terror” not because the Palestinians had lost hope, but because they *did* have hope of their own state – and that hope must be “wiped out”.

      That is exactly the official doctrine of all Zionism, as formulated in so many words by the officially fascist Vladimir Jabotinsky, accepted by the World Zionist Congress under the (definitely national) Socialist David Green, aka Ben-Gurion, preached by Jabotinsky protégé Mr Mileikovski Sr, then Jr (both aka Netan-Yahoo), the current “Labor” aka Zionist Bloc and confirmed by every single action of all Zionist life on earth.

      Sometimes contradicted by the words of some faction of the Zionists –never by their actions.

      • Bumblebye on February 4, 2017, 4:43 pm

        Yes echi, which is why I called it the “nub of the matter”. And the woman iñ question turns out to be a founder of “Women in Green”. Claims to have extensive contact with Palestinians (who are not suited, culturally, to have their own govt!!) and more than half wouĺd be happy to turn over the reins to israel. Zionist insanity.

  5. James Canning on February 4, 2017, 1:34 pm

    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.

  6. Atlantaiconoclast on February 4, 2017, 10:41 pm

    Call this man what he clearly is, a Jewish supremacist. Anyone as smart as Dennis Ross is a bigot if he or she is proposing such a one sided solution.

    Till we start effectively counter branding opposition to Palestinian rights, this man will continue to make the rounds on American TV networks, always coming across as concerned and wise, when in reality he is nothing more than a ultra tribalist.

  7. JLewisDickerson on February 5, 2017, 12:09 am

    RE: “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.” ~ Weiss

    MY SNARKCASM: That’s “mighty white of them”!*

    * FROM WIKIPEDIA [Play the white man] AS OF 2-16-14:

    ‘Play the white man’ is a term used in parts of England meaning to be decent and trustworthy in one’s actions.[citation needed]
    The origin of the phrase is obscure. The term carries with it a reference to an obligation which outnumbered English civil administrators in the latter years of the British Empire might have considered themselves to be under: that is, the obligation to uphold respect for their county abroad by maintaining personal standards of behaviour and fairness which darker-skinned native peoples could respect [citation needed]. The act of calling upon someone to remember his personal moral obligations in this way is expressed in Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘The White Man’s Burden’. On the other hand, the racially neutral colour white has long been associated with pureness and virtue. The phrase is losing popularity in common parlance, because the term is considered by many to be racist – it clearly implies that “white” behaviour is “better”.
    A similar expression in the United States is “That’s mighty white of you”, meaning, “Thank you for being fair”. Among African Americans, this phrase is said in response to being patronized or told what to think.[1]

    SOURCE –

    • Eva Smagacz on February 5, 2017, 8:51 am

      Funny, I only know the phrase ” Thats mighty white of you” in it’s latest, snarky meaning : Take your European colonial sense of moral superiority and entitlement to decide what is good for non-whites and shove it where the light don’t shine….”

  8. diasp0ra on February 5, 2017, 8:19 am

    You ever notice how in all these plans to ending the conflict, Palestinians are asked to compromise on a million things, including refugees, land and rights, but the only thing Israel is asked to “compromise” on is not break international law?

    Most don’t even ask it to roll back the wall and treat it as the new border!

    What a joke.

    • Kay24 on February 6, 2017, 3:03 pm

      Good point. You are right the occupier who should be held accountable and responsible for the occupation, is treated like the hurt victim, and the Palestinians the aggressors. The blame is on all the Western nations who keep pouring aid and weapons to the occupier. The US and the UK keep pretending they are outraged at the illegal settlements, but hey, look they keep financing those illegal squatter homes on the other hand that keeps getting built no matter how much the world condemns it. The blame also should rest on the Arab nations who are now best pals with the occupier, and have shady dealings with it. All at the expense of the victims, who they are supposed to stand up for. They are a disgusting lot.

  9. John Douglas on February 5, 2017, 9:19 am

    Dennis Ross spends his entire adult life making a two-state situation impossible and now declares it impossible. Has he set a date yet for the victory party?

  10. Sulphurdunn on February 5, 2017, 10:53 am

    This urban dictionary definition is commonly understood to be a sarcastic rejoinder and is the meaning of the expression I grew up with and is used everywhere I’ve ever lived in the US:

    Someone who thinks they’ve done a great deed, charitable action or sacrifice, but in reality they’ve done very little to help the human condition.

    Earl: I gave that homeless man my half eaten apple.
    Roger: Wow, that was mighty white of you.

  11. MHughes976 on February 5, 2017, 11:53 am

    We have gone for years with talk of negotiation but with no proposals. If a proposal was there in all its hard detail we could begin, or hope to begin, to draw attention to the screaming unfairness of the classic 2ss and, no doubt, to the scream+ unfairness of anything coming from Mr. Ross.

  12. Shingo on February 6, 2017, 4:13 am

    My God this guy is delusional. Everything is about coddling Israel, letting them keep all their stolen land and putting all the pressure and setting conditions on the Palestinians and the Europeans.

    • Atlantaiconoclast on February 6, 2017, 2:32 pm

      He isn’t delusional. He is a Jewish supremacist! He knows exactly what his “solution” means.

  13. Theo on February 6, 2017, 8:46 am

    The idea of a two state solution was dead long before 1948!
    All one has to do ist to visit the Haganah Museum in Jerusalem and read the letters of main zionist leaders, like Ben Gurion, a few dated still in the 1930s. They talk about Eretz Israel that includes all palestinian territories and more.
    The zionist never ever wanted a palestinian state beside Israel, this 70 years of fooling the world is more than disgusting.

  14. amigo on February 6, 2017, 12:40 pm

    No appropriate place to put this but it is big news as it is a shot across the bough of “HMS Theresa May” .

    John Bercow –speaker of the Parliament opposes allowing Trump to speak to the house of commons and the house of Lords.

    Bercow, whose role is non-political, said he could not block a state visit by the US president but would use his role as one of the three “key-holders” of Westminster Hall to prevent the Republican from addressing MPs and peers.

    He said he had been particularly persuaded by what he termed Trump’s “migrant ban”, the executive order signed during the president’s first fortnight that prevented any nationals from seven Muslim countries from entering the US, including refugees.

  15. Marnie on February 8, 2017, 2:25 am

    Extracting a promise from ‘israel’ is as meaninful as promises made by netanyahooo and the promises made by tRUMP. The israelis aren’t partners for peace of any kind because they don’t have the heart for it. And don’t want it to begin with.

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