Speaking at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) conference at the Inbal hotel in Jerusalem, Ambassador Dennis Ross sought to explain United States priorities in the Middle East during President Barack Obama’s second term in the White House.
Ross projected that the Obama administration will have many priorities in the region that will strategically converge with Israel. He said that the two countries have many commonalties and that the challenge of statesmanship is to focus on those commonalties to make them all the more significant.
With regard to Iran, Ross said he was hopeful that diplomacy and economic sanctions would prove successful in deterring the regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.
He said, however, that a potential point of divergence from Israel would be final negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
The ambassador focused on the need to build commonalities and the need for nations to be agile in addressing the many complex issues that continue to plague the region.
He said the goals of each nation must be feasible, not merely desirable. While there are clearly overarching principles that guide all nations, he stressed the need to compromise and adapt policies to produce the best results.
Former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold said that he thinks Ross’ presentation was “very important”, as he focused on ideas that were much more realistic than many that have been set forth in the past.