Oct. 16, 2015
- Book Review: Dennis Ross on the U.S.-Israel Relationship – Elliott Abrams
In Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama, Dennis Ross reinforces the recent account by Israel’s former ambassador, Michael Oren, in his book Ally, writing that President Obama’s “distancing from Israel was deliberate.” Though he credits Obama with deep sympathy for the Jewish state, the incidents he recounts contradict him. Obama kept calling on Israel to take risks for peace. “But he said nothing about what Abu Mazen [Abbas] had to do; the responsibility for acting was exclusively Netanyahu’s.”
In Ross’ view, Obama fell for the oldest preconceptions about the Middle East: “the need to distance from Israel to gain Arab responsiveness, concern about the high costs of cooperating with the Israelis, and the belief that resolving the Palestinian problem is the key to improving the U.S. position in the region.” “The hard truth is that [the Palestinians] are not a priority for Arab leaders….The priorities of Arab leaders revolve around survival and security” – not Israeli-Palestinian relations or U.S. policy toward Israel.
Ross draws a harsh portrait of Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who opposes Israel at every turn and refuses to engage in serious conversations with Israeli officials that would improve relations.The writer, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, handled Middle East affairs at the National Security Council from 2001 to 2009.(Wall Street Journal)
(Click on the article’s title to see the whole article…Ed.)