Dennis Ross, the top Middle East adviser for former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, was tapped by Barack Obama to be one of his top foreign-policy advisers. Last month, Ross wrote a column for The Jewish Journal explaining he joined Team Obama.
Over the weekend, the Jerusalem Post added to that with an interview in which Ross, responding to a question about Obama’s AIPAC speech, talks about what his boss really thinks about Israel. Ross says that, despite a next-day about-face, Obama really does support an undivided Jerusalem:
“I am convinced that he will stand by Israel. I am. If I wasn’t convinced of that, I wouldn’t be standing here. Do I think that at the end of the day he will do whatever’s necessary if Israel’s threatened? I do.
“You raised the issue of Jerusalem. That was at the AIPAC speech. And what he said, he said the following: “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.” He said the city should never be divided again. And it’s true that in that speech he didn’t make the third point, which is, the final status of the city will be resolved by negotiations. Before the speech he said that, after the speech he said that. The American position has been those three points.
“The fact of the matter is, Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. That’s a fact. It’s also a fact that the city should not be divided again. That’s also a fact. The position of the United States since Camp David, the position, by the way, adopted in the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, signed by [prime minister] Menachem Begin, was that the final status of Jerusalem would be resolved by negotiations. Those are the three points. That’s what his position is.”
(Hat tip: Mondoweiss)