Dennis Ross: The U.S. Peace Plan Is Serious

(Globes) Tal Schneider - Dennis Ross, who was President Clinton's Middle East envoy and a member of the National Security Council staff with responsibility for the Middle East and the Persian Gulf in the administration of Barack Obama, says that he is convinced of the seriousness of the work of Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner, President Trump's envoys to the Middle East. Ross told Globes that he has met Kushner and Greenblatt several times over the past year. "On the basis of my conversations with them I'm convinced that they studied the material well and did serious preparation....I'm convinced that what they are doing is serious.... Actually one of the things that indicate seriousness is the fact that the plan has not been leaked." I asked Ross whether there was any possibility of moving forward when everything was stuck vis-a-vis the Palestinians. "This is the reason that they are focusing on leaders of countries in the region," Ross answered. "The leaders of the Arab countries won't put themselves in place of the Palestinians, and they won't force their positions on the Palestinians either, but they could create a climate that will make it difficult for the Palestinians not to respond." "So, for example, the leaders of the Arab countries could respond to publication of the plan by stating that they have some questions about it, but that they believe that it's a serious plan that could represent a basis for negotiations. If this is what the Arab leaders say after the plan's release, and if the European countries also come out with a positive and supportive reaction, a general context will be created in which Abu Mazen [Abbas] will find it hard to continue to remain silent and ignore it." Ross points out that in the past few years he has written a monthly column in Asharq al-Awsat, an Arabic daily published in London. "I think that that's a sign that indicates change - the fact that they want to read a column from an American, a Jew....The interesting thing is that I receive many supportive responses." "They see Israel differently from the way they saw it in the past. In the countries of the region, Israel is no longer seen as a threat, but as a country that acts on what it says. It's doing things at a time when no one else is lifting a finger in relation to Iran and Syria. The Jordanians, for example, may perhaps not admit it, but they appreciate Israel's strength and the fact that it doesn't just talk but also acts."

2018-07-06 00:00:00

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