Former U.S. Envoy Dennis Ross Again Urges Israel To Trade Jewish Land For Recycled Arab Promises
March 24, 2004

NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized former U.S. Mideast envoy Dennis Ross for once again pressing Israel to trade Jewish land for the same old Palestinian Arab promises.

Writing in the New York Times (March 24, 2000), Ross praises the idea of an Israeli “evacuation of settlements and withdrawal from territory,” and says that in return, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei should “show he has a plan for security and that he is poised to act on it.”

  • This was the fundamental flaw in the Oslo process, which Ross did so much to facilitate Israel was pressured to give up land and release imprisoned terrorists, while the Palestinian Arabs were never compelled to honor any of their obligations, such as halting all anti-Israel violence, disarming and outlawing terrorist groups, extraditing terrorists to Israel, halting the anti-Jewish incitement in the PA media and schools, holding democratic elections, and respecting human rights. Ross is now repeating that error and proposing to reward the Palestinian Authority with territory before it has done anything to fight terror.

Ross has publicly admitted that he consciously ignored Palestinian Arab violations of the Oslo accords in order to preserve the so-called “peace process.” He told the Australia Jewish Review on June 15, 2001: “We…became so preoccupied with this process that the process took on a life of its own. It had self-sustaining justification. Every time there was a behavior, or an incident, or an event that was inconsistent with what the process was supposed to be about, the impulse was to rationalize it, finesse it, find a way around it and not allow it to break the process, because the process seemed to have promise … I admit that I did not take into consideration the gravity of Palestinian incitement. I was too liberal on the subject.”

  • Ross’s op-ed in the New York Times ignores the fundamental problem: the Palestinian Arabs do not accept Israel’s right to exist within any borders. He does not mention that the official maps appearing in PA offices, in the textbooks used in PA schools, and the PA’s official letterhead label all of Israel —not just Judea-Samaria-Gaza— as “Palestine.” Likewise PA officials’ speeches, the sermons by PA-appointed clergymen, and the teachings in PA children’s summer camps promote the idea that all of Israel is “Palestine.”

  • Ross also falsely claims that “most Palestinians prefer coexistence and not perpetual struggle…” In fact, poll after poll has found that most Palestinian Arabs support the ongoing terrorist war against Israel.

  • In his op-ed, Ross refers to Hezbollah as “militants” and Hamas massacres as “Hamas violence.” He fails to use the word ‘terrorist’ in referring to either group, even though both groups are on the official U.S. list of terrorist organizations and were on that list while Ross was a U.S. government emissary.

Ross’s positions take on potentially greater importance because the New York Times reported on March 1, 2004, that U.S. Senator John Kerry regards Ross as a potential future U.S. envoy to the Israel-Palestinian Authority negotiations.

  • New Republic: Ross Implementing Baker’s Anti-Israel Agenda: An investigative report in The New Republic (July 8, 1996) by the respected journalist Jacob Heilbrunn, titled “The Arabist: Dennis Ross and the Endless Peace Process,” wrote that “after serving as James Baker’s right-hand man in the Bush administration, Ross became chief U.S. envoy to the Arab-Israeli talks in the Clinton administration,” where he continued “executing Baker’s anti-Israel agenda.” Heilbrunn concluded that Ross’s vision of a Mideast peace agreement “rested on pressuring Israel.”

  • Moment Article Called Ross a “Jewish Arabist”: Ross was described as a “Jewish Arabist” in an article in Moment magazine (April 1991) by former Near East Report editor Eric Rozenman. He wrote that Ross was responsible for shaping the Bush-Baker policy that was “indifferent to what Israel claimed as vital interests and undiplomatically hostile to Israel’s prime minister” and had made it “the least sympathetic American government toward Israel in that country’s 43 years.”

  • Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir: Ross More Sympathetic to Arab Positions: Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has said that in his dealings with Ross, Ross was consistently more sympathetic to Arab positions than Israel’s positions.

  • Ross Brought Fatah Terrorists to Washington: In October 2003, Ross brought three officials of Yasir Arafat’s terrorist Fatah movement to Washington, where he presented them as moderates and arranged for them to meet with Members of Congress and journalists. Keep in mind that these were three representatives of an organization which at that time, and today, has been waging continual terrorist warfare against Israel, murdering Israeli men, women, and children and American citizens, as well.

    One of the three, Hatim Abdel Qader, said that part of the purpose of the visit was to inform Americans that “the dismantling of the Palestinian [terrorist] organizations [as required by the Bush Road Map] is irrelevant.” (Al Jazeera, Qatar, Oct.21, 2003) In a recent interview, Qader said: “As for the military factions, these are groups that we will never renounce because they are our weapon.” (Al Quds, May 15, 2003) Asked if he rejects “the suicide operations in Israel,” Qader replied: “We do not reject the suicide operations, but these actions must be carried out in a way that fits the goals.” (Al Quds, May 15, 2003) Another of the Fatah trio, Qadura Fares, is founder and head of the “Palestinian Prisoners Club,” which supports and glorifies Palestinian Arab terrorists imprisoned in Israel. Fares has said he rejects the recent “Geneva Understandings” document “because it acknowledges that Israel is a Jewish state.” (Al-Hayat, London, Oct. 14, 2003).

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