51st: Dennis Ross’s string of failures and its reward–he’s still in charge. UPDATE..
July 9: News of the new U.S. ambassador to Israel: “[Dan] Shapiro said Obama instructed him to make Israel’s security his top priority. “This we are doing by raising the remarkable cooperation and coordination between our militaries and our intelligence services to their highest levels ever,” he said. In addition, he said his job entails safeguarding Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state and working to expand the depth and breadth of the bonds between the Israeli and American people, including their “burgeoning economic relationship.” Ha’aretz
July 6: George Mitchell’s departure as President Obama’s representative to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations has left Dennis Ross in charge of the non-negotiations (you remember Dennis Ross who has been nursing the non-negotiations for two decades).
Akiva Eldar, Israeli journalist and chief political correspondent for Ha’aretz [and to the Demonizers, not an anti-Semite], raises questions about whom Ross is actually working for: “It would be tough to find a bigger expert than Ross on the myths and illusions related to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. For years he has been nurturing the myth that if the United States would only meet his exact specifications, the Israeli right would offer the Arabs extensive concessions.
“During the years he headed the American peace team, Israeli settlement construction ramped up. Now Ross, the former chairman of the Jewish People Policy Institute, is trying to convince the Palestinians to give up on bringing Palestinian independence for a vote in the United Nations in September and recognize the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people — in other words, as his country, though he was born in San Francisco, more than that of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was born in Safed.”
Stephen Walt’s comments on Eldar’s essay, and a homey observation:”In what other line of work could someone fail consistently for two decades and still have a job?
“If you were a baseball manager and your team didn’t make the playoffs for two decades running, you’d have been canned long ago. If you were a CEO and you lost money for twenty straight years, the Board of Directors or the shareholders would have hired a replacement long ago. If you were a dean or a university president and faculty quality, student achievement and the size of the endowment kept declining on your watch, it’s a safe bet you’d be told that your services were no longer required.
“But when it comes to U.S. Middle East policy, there is hardly any accountability. And the tragic irony is that advisers like Ross — who make no secret of their deep attachment to Israel — have in fact done an excellent job of scuttling prospects for a two-state solution that is Israel’s best hope of long-term security and international acceptances.”