Dennis Ross Talks Up Petraeus Linkage

From Josh Rogin’s excellent “Cable” blog at foreignpolicy.com today:

Dennis Ross links Middle East peace to Iran
Posted By Josh Rogin Wednesday, May 5, 2010 – 6:16 PM

The National Security Council’s Dennis Ross is the latest U.S. official to link the Obama administration’s drive to secure peace between Israelis and Arabs to the overall goal of bringing greater stability to the region and combating the threat from Iran.

“In this region, pursuing peace is instrumental to shaping a new regional context,” Ross said in remarks Monday evening. “Pursuing peace is not a substitute for dealing with the other challenges … It is also not a panacea. But especially as it relates to resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, if one could do that, it would deny state and non-state actors a tool they use to exploit anger and grievances.”

Ross was speaking at the closing dinner for the Anti-Defamation League annual conference, where attendees also heard from the NSC’s Daniel Shapiro, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism Daniel Benjamin, special envoy for monitoring anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal, Israeli Amb. Michael Oren, and others.

Ross, whose exact portfolio at the NSC has been the subject of much speculation outside the administration, noted that “the greatest challenge for peace, for security in the Middle East, lies in Iran” and tied the Israeli-Arab conflict to the Islamic Republic.

“Clearly one way that Iran is increasing its influence in the region is by exploiting the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians,” Ross said, echoing statements made by U.S. Centcom commander Gen. David Petraeus in a report (pdf) submitted to Congress back in March.

“The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests,” Petraeus wrote. “The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.”

Conservative hard-liners ripped Petraeus for the statement, linking the report to a story on Foreign Policy’s Middle East Channel (some elements of which are in dispute). The National Review’s Andrew McCarthy even accused the general of “echoing the narrative peddled incessantly by leftists in the government he serves and by Islamists in the countries where he works.”

But Ross, who is not often accused of being too hard on Israel, made similar comments Monday. “The continuation of the conflict strengthens Iran’s rejectionist partners and also Hezbollah. Iran deliberately uses the conflict to expose even the moderates in the region by stoking the fears of its populations and playing the worst most anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist prejudices,” he said.

This is quite a remarkable statement and should no doubt create some consternation at AIPAC, among other right-wing Israel Lobby institutions.

Author: Jim Lobe

Visit Lobelog.com for the latest news analysis and commentary from Inter Press News Service's Washington bureau chief Jim Lobe.

23 thoughts on “Dennis Ross Talks Up Petraeus Linkage”

  1. It's remarkable that Ross is supporting Petraeus in noting this linkage, but notice that ultimately Ross uses this as yet another opportunity to push the Israel lobby's vicious anti-Iran agenda.

    Ross is essentially saying, "If Israel will just make (or at least appear to make) a genuine effort to be a bit more fair to the Palestinians, then the United States will be abjectly grateful to us. They will ask us, 'How can we ever thank you for doing us this wonderful favor?' And our answer will be, of course, 'Destroy Iran!'."

  2. The "linkage" goes back to Obama's earliest foreign policy suggestions on the Middle East.

    It is completely unilateral and US-centered, and also aimed directly at belligerency toward Iran and others, including Pakistan..

    There is no "linkage", except in regard to a US foreign policy that continues to be imperialist in the Middle East.

    Israel acts the tyrant over Palestine, the US a belligerent toward Iran and other states in the region.

    Both propositions stand independently of one another, and all "linkage" in effect proposes is: "If Israel is less a tyrant over Palestine, the US will be able to be a more effective belligerent toward Iran, etc.".

    Those are the bare bones of linkage and obvious on their face.

  3. It's remarkable that Ross is supporting Petraeus in noting this linkage, but notice that ultimately Ross uses this as yet another opportunity to push the Israel lobby's vicious anti-Iran agenda.

    Ross is essentially saying, "If Israel will just make (or at least appear to make) a genuine effort to be a bit more fair to the Palestinians, then the United States will be abjectly grateful to us. They will ask us, 'How can we ever thank you for doing us this wonderful favor?' And our answer will be, of course, 'Destroy Iran!'."

  4. Christian Zionists will undoubtedly get their panties in a bundle. If nothing else, prophecy preachers can use this to distract the faithful from another anti-gay preacher caught with a rent-boy!

  5. What i understood it is the opposite:Rose meant to mark that once Iran "threat" canceled,then Israel would can take more "risks"to reach a peace with Arabs.

    1. Unlikely. The US always needs to have an enemy, an Evil Empire, a lesser breed outside the law to slaughter.

  6. The neocons made a variation of this argument: Destroy Iraq, and peace in the Middle East will happen.

  7. It would be Pakistan or Indonesia once iran is done by isareli gangbagers in the broad American daylight and that it would be for peace also.

  8. Dennis Ross and Peace? Now that's an oxymoron. Apart from pandering to the (al)mighty AIPAC and the zionist neo-cons, there is little to distinguish Ross. Consider the facts on the ground: despite its bellicose verbiage, an non-nuclear Iran (- a signatory, by the way, the the NPT) faces imminent threats from a nuclear-armed apartheid regime in Israel and is surrounded on two (or three, if you include Pakistan) sides by a superpower playing to a zionist flute, and all we get to hear in the US is just how much of a threat Iran is. Look at the records for yourself: how many invasions has Iran ever initiated? That's right – none! Do we need to look up the score cards for Israel or the US?

  9. Dennis Ross and Peace? Now that's an oxymoron. Apart from pandering to the (al)mighty AIPAC and the zionist neo-cons, there is little to distinguish Ross. Consider the facts on the ground: despite its bellicose verbiage, an non-nuclear Iran (- a signatory, by the way, the the NPT) faces imminent threats from a nuclear-armed apartheid regime in Israel and is surrounded on two (or three, if you include Pakistan) sides by a superpower playing to a zionist flute, and all we get to hear in the US is just how much of a threat Iran is. Look at the records for yourself: how many invasions has Iran ever initiated? That's right – none! Do we need to look up the score cards for Israel or the US?

    1. Zia is totally correct. Ross is an Obama-Rahm Emanual Administration token neo-con! Actually, what Ross is saying is the US should destroy the current regimes surrounding Israel – leaving Israel in control of the US installed regimes. Perhaps then Israel will "talk" peace with the new Arab regimes. Politicians accept campaign contributions for "a special relationship" with Israel — US taxpayers resent money given to a one religion, aparthied, racist state such as Israel.

  10. The 64 million dollar quesion is how serious and for how long is the socalled Arab World/Palestenians et, al will consider with interest and commitment a US Middle East set of policies that are made and implemented by a cadre of either pro – Israel individuals or individuals holding dual citizenships.

    In a week or so President Medvedev of Russia is due for a two day official visit to Damascus, Syria.
    The first time a Soviet or Russian President on an official visit to Syria.

    Conjectures on the potential outcome of such a visit can only be imagined.

  11. Dennis Ross has no cerdibility what so ever he admits his number one goal is to further Israel's agenda,and his loyalty is to Israel first.The Iran issue is nothing but an smoke screen and a synical attempt to divert the attention from the more land grabing by the Israeli government in the West Bank.

  12. Dennis Ross has no cerdibility what so ever he admits his number one goal is to further Israel's agenda,and his loyalty is to Israel first.The Iran issue is nothing but an smoke screen and a synical attempt to divert the attention from the more land grabing by the Israeli government in the West Bank.

  13. The American government's ,actively supporting a jewish state in Israel is in violation of the United States constitution,which prohebits the government promoting any religion in the US.,and abroad.

  14. Israel cannot survive 24 hours without the American support,and Americans do not have the energy,and will ,and money,and resources to be at war with the 60 muslim countries,with 1.5 million population.It will serve the Israel best to be relocated to the Central American country of Belieze,and live in peace and prosperity.

  15. There is no such thing as a Muslim country, although there are countries whose population is predominately Muslim.

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