Dennis Ross will be moving from the State Department to the White House.
Ross, now a special adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia at the State Department, will take an as yet unnamed position at the National Security Council, according to media reports.
The new job is expected to have a broader reach, encompassing not just policy on Iran but also the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and other areas.
There is some media speculation that Ross’ move is due to the fact that Iran policy is being increasingly run out of the White House.
Ross, 60, was the top Middle East negotiator during the Clinton administration.
Poll: American Voters’ Support of Israel Drops
American voters’ support for Israel has dropped 20 percent in the past nine months, a new survey found.
Some 49 percent of American voters call themselves supporters of Israel, down from 69 percent last September, according to the poll conducted for The Israel Project.
The number of voters who called themselves undecided rose during that same period, and the number of Palestinian supporters remained steady at 7 percent. The number of Israel supporters hit a low of 38 percent immediately following the 2005 disengagement from Gaza, with an equal rise in undecided voters.
The poll was conducted among 800 registered voters on June 2 and 3 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. It has not been officially released by The Israel Project, but was leaked to the media by someone who received the numbers the day after the poll was completed on Thursday.
According to the poll, some 44 percent of voters believe the United States should support Israel, down from 69 percent a year ago. Some 5 percent of voters believe the United States should support the Palestinians, with 32 percent undecided.
Some 23 percent of voters believed that Israel should return all lands captured in 1967, with 57 percent saying some should be retained for security.
Some 66 percent of those polled do not believe that Israeli support of a two-state solution — including establishing an independent Palestinian state and stopping the expansion of settlements — will bring lasting peace to the region, with 22 percent saying it will. In addition, 48 percent believe the Israeli support would not end Palestinian terrorism; 39 percent said it would.
Some 85 percent of respondents believe that Iran is a serious threat to Israel, with only 7 percent saying it is not — figures that have remained virtually unchanged over the past year.
Jews Expelled From Arab Lands Press Case
Jews displaced from Arab lands are meeting in Rome to press for the recognition of their rights as forced exiles.
Participants will present their case Tuesday to the Italian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission.
“We hope that this will lead to a resolution on the rights of Jews displaced from Arab countries,” Stanley Urman, executive vice president of the group Justice for Jews from Arab Lands, which organized the meeting, told the press.
Urman said representatives from Jews of Arab origin now living in nine countries — Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States — are scheduled to attend the meeting. Among other things on the agenda, he said, is drawing up a joint response to Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi’s visit to Rome last week.
Jewish leaders in Rome boycotted a meeting over the weekend between Gadhafi and Italians expelled from Libya as the meeting was held on Shabbat.
Gadhafi “missed an opportunity to set a standard in the Arab world to address the issue in an open and courageous manner,” Urman said.
The 6,000 Jews forced out of Libya were among as many as 850,000 Jews from 10 Arab countries forced to flee their homelands since 1947.
Hillel Celebrates 85th
An Obama administration official joined more than 100 young adults celebrating the 85th birthday of Hillel.
Danielle Borrin, who works on Jewish engagement for the White House and is also a special assistant for intergovernmental affairs for the vice president, was part of the gathering Sunday evening at the Hillel International Center in Washington, D.C.
Dozens of parties were held around the world celebrating the milestone.
Among other ways the celebration was marked was a trip by the newest member of the Hillel board, Tufts University President Lawrence Bacow, to deliver 85 books to orphans of the genocide in Rwanda.
‘Kosher’ Search Engine Is Launched
A new “kosher” Internet search engine omits material not acceptable to rigorously Orthodox Jews.
Koogle, a play on a traditional Jewish good and the major search engine Google, was launched recently, Reuters reported.
The site, in Hebrew with an English mirror site, also links to news and shopping sites that filter out items prohibited by rigorously Orthodox rabbis, including television sets.
Koogle does not operate on Shabbat.
Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency.