Dennis Ross, Negotiating Genius

Posted on May 21, 2011

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Today’s New York Times carries a typical Washington insider hagiography.  It’s hard to press crapola into shinola, however.

Mr. Ross demonstrated his growing influence last October, when the administration was pressing Mr. Netanyahu to agree to a three-month extension of his moratorium on settlement construction. Mr. Netanyahu balked.

So Mr. Ross devised a generous package of incentives for Israel that included 20 American fighter jets, other security guarantees, and an American pledge to oppose United Nations resolutions on Palestinian statehood. Many Middle East analysts expressed surprise that the administration would offer so much to Israel in return for a one-time, 90-day extension of a freeze.

In the end, Mr. Obama abandoned the effort, concluding that even if Mr. Netanyahu persuaded his cabinet to go along with the extension, it was unlikely to produce the kind of progress in talks that the United States hoped for. Direct talks between Mr. Netanyahu and the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, soon petered out, and Mr. Abbas made plans to go to the United Nations in September for a vote on Palestinian statehood.

Why didn’t Ross just offer Netanyahu 3 billion dollars for that three month pause on settlement building? Oh wait, that’s actually what he did. And the pause didn’t actually include buildings which were already under construction. What a brilliant negotiator. They’re seriously going to write songs about this guy in the post-apocalypse.

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