Dennis Ross, who dealt with Middle East issues under George H.W. Bush, as well as under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, told the Jewish People Policy Institute on Wednesday in Jerusalem that American policy-makers from presidents Truman to Obama have held three basic assumptions regarding Israel. The first assumption is that if the U.S. would distance itself from Israel, it would gain from the Arabs. "Five administrations have done it: Eisenhower, Nixon, Carter, [George H.W.] Bush and Obama," he said. "Every single administration that engaged in distancing never produced what they expected from the Arabs; rather than gaining from the Arabs they typically produced more Arab demands."
The second assumption is that "if you cooperate with Israel, you lose with the Arabs." This, too, has proven false. "They were never going to make our relationship with Israel something that would undercut their relationship to us, because that would undercut their security and survival."
The third assumption is that "you can't transform the region, or America's position in the region, unless you solve the Palestinian issue." If the Palestinian issue would be solved tomorrow, he said, all the other issues plaguing the region would still remain. (Jerusalem Post)