Dennis Ross Confesses|
By Shmuel Katz
("Jerusalem Post," July 11, 2001)
We have entered an era of explanation, admission, and even confession.
Friday, the "Jerusalem Post" published an explanatory interview with
Indyk, the outgoing US ambassador to Israel, while last month, Dennis
for 12 years one of the central exponents of United States policy
during the woefully misnamed Oslo "peace process" has now let the
into some secrets of America's thinking.
Thus Ross revealed a sensational fact which he discovered about the
so-called peace negotiations. "Arafat," he said in an interview in the
Post" (June 22), "really can't do a permanent deal." Ross enlarged on
a public lecture at Ben-Gurion University. "Chairman Arafat could not
Camp David," he declared. "It was too hard for him to make this
because when the conflict ends, the cause that defines Arafat also
(JP, June 20). What this manifestly means is that Arafat, after all, is
such a bad fellow, but suffers from a psychological block that he can't
What this psychobabble does mean is that Ross is trying to avoid
truth about American policy. One well-known part of the truth is that
his colleagues have been nourishing the legend that all that's needed
Arafat to make peace is that Israel make major surrenders of territory,
jeopardize its security and blot out the testimony of Jewish history.
other part of the truth is that Ross and his colleagues in the State
Department have got it all wrong. Arafat has no intention of making
with the State of Israel.
Ross's apologia for Arafat - a psychological blockage which the State
Department whiz boys were unable to detect in all these years of
him - is plainly disingenuous. There is not the slightest reason for
anybody, least of all Ross, to delve into the depths of Arafat's mind
order to understand why he "can't do a deal."
Arafat himself has openly, indeed defiantly, been telling the world
after time what his plan for Israel is. That plan is no chimera, but a
practical strategic objective. It was not created by Arafat. It was
announced by the spokesmen of the Arab states when, at the United
1947, they opposed the recognition of a Jewish state - even within
indefensible borders. They followed up in 1948 by making war in order
abort its birth. Then, in 1967, the destruction of Israel (without
Samaria, Gaza, the Golan and Sinai) was the declared aim of the Arab
invasion, and the dismemberment of the Jewish state is the centerpiece
the Palestinian Covenant.
The game plan for achieving that end has even been aired frequently by
Arafat. It is the "policy of phases." It could be called the "salami"
process. And it is perfectly rational to understand that Barak's offer
near-complete surrender was not enough for Arafat: there are "phases"
not reached, and goals still unachieved. A Palestinian state (with
exclusively as its capital) has not been promised, and Israel has not
to let the so-called "refugees" flood its cities. If he were to
peace with those hurdles not overcome, he would lose control of his own
people. Moreover, Arafat knew what he was doing. By not signing, he
door open to new negotiations.
The prelude to negotiations is, as usual, killing Jews - intifada. Do
not hear how he is being urged by Israeli leaders now to stop terror
back to the negotiating table"? And are not the Americans doing their
to get Israel to negotiate even if the terror is only "reduced"? Indeed
light on U.S. behavior and policy after Oslo has been shed by our Ross
interview in the "Australian Jewish Review," June 2001.
He actually criticizes Arafat. "You cannot be promoting incitement to
violence," he said, "and say you're committed to peace. The two are
contradictory." But pressed by his interviewer, David Mandel, about his
failure to react to Arafat's non-fulfillment of his obligations under
Oslo Accords, he admitted that "the prudential issues of compliance
neglected and politicized by the Americans in favor of keeping talks
He went into detail. "Every time there was a behavior, or an incident,
event, that was inconsistent with what the process was supposed to be
the impulse was to rationalize it, finesse it, find a way around it,
to allow it to beak the process," because "the process seemed to have
Thus, buses filled with passengers bombed in Jerusalem, in Afula, in
in Tel Aviv, were merely "incidents" or "events"; blowing up
was only "inconsistent with what the process was supposed to be about";
murders by stabbing in various streets, or running buses into crowds of
soldiers waiting for lifts, or groups of civilians at bus stops, were
Ross did not mention that the Israeli dupes, disregarding all warnings
within Israel, had given Arafat thousands of rifles because he
use them against the murderers. The immediate consequence of the "peace
process" was the threefold increase in the rate of murder of Jews by
Ross thought it proper to add a piece of advice. He suggests that if
circumstances make future negotiations possible they ought to be based
"something the parties have put on the table, and not [what] the United
States has put on the table." Precisely this good advice has been nixed
the State Department: which, as we see it, is as busy in our affairs as
ever was. And terror goes on.
(The writer is the author of "Hareshet - The Net: The Aaronsohn Family
and a biographer of Ze'ev Jabotinsky.)