University News

Chomsky, Ross debate Israel-Palestine peace process

U.S. role in Mideast negotiations emerges as key point of disagreement

Science & Research Editor
Friday, April 25, 2014

Two versions of history were recounted Thursday afternoon, as students and faculty members packed into Salomon 101 to contemplate the role of the United States in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But determining which version of history was correct was a question on which Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and former Ambassador Dennis Ross, counselor and distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, could not agree.

Chomsky and Ross focused on the timeline of peace negotiations as well as the United States’ historic participation in the process during their discussion, hosted by the Political Theory Project as part of the Janus Forum Lecture Series.

The best way to address the question of the United States’ role in the conflict is to “run through the records,” Chomsky said, adding that he would only draw from “well-documented” historical moments. Chomsky has been outspoken about the conflict for years, and his 1983 book “The Fateful Triangle” is regarded as a seminal work on the topic.

Throughout its history, Israel has faced “crucial” decisions between territorial expansion and national security, Chomsky said, noting Israel’s 1971 decision not to withdraw military forces in return for peace talks as one of its “most fateful” choices. That year, Israel chose expansion over security, Chomsky said, and “that’s been pretty much the story since.”

Chomsky also listed instances when the United States vetoed resolutions that would lead to a two-state solution.

The United States is “essentially alone” in its support of Israel, Chomsky said, adding that “the U.S. continues to provide crucial economic, military, diplomatic and ideological support to Israel,” preventing peace in the region.

But Ross said while he would never challenge Chomsky on topics related to linguistics, he feels compelled to challenge his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict due to his experience as a “practitioner” in the field.

Ross served as a leading figure in peace negotiations during the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations. He has also served in the Obama administration as an adviser on the peace process.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they’re just not entitled to their own facts,” Ross opened, quoting the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Chomsky echoed the quote back at him during his rebuttal.

Ross said the very framing of the question of whether U.S. support of Israel prevents peace implies that Israel is responsible for the lack of peace in the region. Unlike Chomsky, Ross focused on times at which Israel wanted to accept agreements that were subsequently rejected by other powers in the region.

“You can’t say that Israel is the only reason there is not peace,” Ross said.

Ultimately, Israel deserves American support, Ross said, noting that it is the only country in the Middle East that governs by the rule of law, holds regular elections, promotes freedom of civil rights and freedom of the press and has a separation of powers. Israel “lives in a tough neighborhood,” Ross said, and without U.S. support could suffer harm.

In his rebuttal, Chomsky said Ross gave “a very accurate account of government position, what they believe and what they would like people to believe,” but that as long as the United States remains the lead organizer of peace negotiations, such talks are useless. The United States has been involved for years and is a participant in the conflict, he said.

As long as this is the case, “prospects for peace are very dim,” he added.

But Ross disagreed with this claim. The United States can be “an honest broker” that can respond to the needs of both sides, he said.

Following an hour of heated dialogue between Chomsky and Ross, audience members were given the opportunity to directly question the speakers. Attendees immediately scrambled over each other to reach microphones placed in the two aisles. Questions focused on the nature of the speakers’ dialogue, as well as about their thoughts about change in the region.

A chorus of snaps and claps in the audience followed a comment directed at Ross, which noted that some of the points he made and his use of the word “Arabs” were “painfully ethnocentric.”

When asked about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, Ross and Chomsky disagreed from the outset about the nature of the question, drowning each other out and barely letting each other get a word in.

Ross said he generally does not support the movement, which calls for worldwide economic measures targeting Israel to force the country to accept a host of Palestinian goals. This approach is wrong because of its link with a one-state solution, he said. Chomsky avoided the question, saying the movement does not exist in practicality, so talking about it is a “total waste of time.”

But Chomsky said he does support certain boycotting efforts, including those targeting businesses building in the West Bank.

Prior to the event, Chomsky told The Herald that he does not support the boycotting of Israeli universities, adding that the United States is involved in international crimes as well, and he would not suggest boycotting MIT or Harvard.

Boycotts need to be “principled” and “targeted” in order to be effective, he told The Herald.

Despite disagreement on almost every issue, the speakers did find one topic to agree on: the importance of changing the perceptions Israelis and Palestinians have of each other.

“The key to mediation is getting each side to focus on the other side’s needs,” Ross said. The morning before the lecture, the New York Times reported that Israel had decided to halt peace talks due to the reconciliation of two Palestinian factions. One of the groups does not recognize Israel as a legitimate state, the Times reported.

Chomsky told The Herald that this new development did not change what he had planned to speak about, adding that the peace talks were probably going nowhere based on their “very nature.”

The lecture was a “productive” opportunity to hear discourse between distinguished speakers who “could challenge each other so well,” said Ian Reardon ’16, a Janus fellow. Often in these discussions, one speaker dominates the discussion, Reardon said, but neither Chomsky nor Ross did so in this one.

This discussion is an important one to have because while Brown is a “homogenous” campus on a lot of topics, students hold different opinions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Reardon said.

In light of recent protests regarding Brown/RISD Hillel’s invitation of Israeli Sgt. Benjamin Anthony to campus, this discussion is “very timely and really the best way to go about handling the situation,” said Omar Nema ’15, suggesting that the University should hold similar events in the future.

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  1. Anyone else notice Chomsky looks like Walter from Jeff Dunham?

  2. Rob Bertsche says:


  3. BigSticksWalkSoftly says:

    Just like Chomsky said
    There is a high chance
    Of a trend towards immediate peace
    In the Israeli palestinian conflict
    If the 1967 Israeli occupationist
    And expansionists weren’t running the show within the Israeli government
    Who would be considered extremists
    Especially by the same Israeli
    Expansionists and occupationists
    Would say the same thing about
    The Nakba of 1948
    The world
    Including the US
    The Palestinians and
    Most Israelis citizens agree on
    What peace would look like
    Unfortunately the current leader
    Group in Israelis
    Coalition government don’t recognize
    Such parameters like
    67 borders
    Un militarized Palestine
    Sovereign borders
    And a shared Jerusalem
    With Palestinian refugees allowed
    Back into the Palestine side of the
    Palestinians deserve a just peace
    And civil and human rights
    Free from outside subjugation
    And apartheid oppression

    • Gibberish.

      • BigSticksWalkSoftly says:

        Palestinians deserve to have full equality, to have their elections recognized, to have
        Their borders established, and to have their own currency.
        Palestinians deserve a just peace with full civil and human rights

  4. ThisIsPalestine says:

    There’s no point in these two white men debating the I/P peace process. The Palestinians themselves continue to not want peace with Israel. They haven’t for sixty years. The “peace process” is simply a way for the Palestinians (the alleged ‘victims’ and ‘weaker side’) to gain concessions from Israel while giving up nothing substantial in return.

    • BigSticksWalkSoftly says:

      These 2 white men are influential American Jews who have dedicated a significant proportion of their professional careers towards critiquing and/or influencing US foreign policy in Israel.
      I think you are wrong in downplaying the significance of their stature in regards to the conflicts in the US
      If there is anything that Palestinians want
      It is a just peace
      Just because Palestinians don’t want
      What you want,
      Which is to have their culture erased, and for all Palestinians to be removed from the Holy Land, and go to Jordan,
      Does not mean they don’t peace
      No justice no peace.
      Palestinians have given up so much,
      It is amazing how myopic you are,
      And how your unconditional hatred of anything that humanizes Palestinians
      Permits you from comprehending the narrative of Palestinians
      Palestinians deserve their stories told free from intimidation and hasbara spin

      • ·
        There is no “Palestine”. There might have been, but they chose war instead- time and again:

        The would-have-been “Palestinians” would have had a state IN PEACE in 1937 with the Peel Plan, but they violently rejected it.

        They would have had a state IN PEACE in 1939 with the MacDonald White Paper, but they violently rejected it (and Jews would have even been restricted from BUYING land from Arabs).

        They would have had a state IN PEACE in 1948 with UN 181, but they violently rejected it (and actually claimed that the UN had no such mandate!).

        They could have had a state IN PEACE in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza from 1948-1967 without any Jews- because the Arabs had ethnically cleansed every last one; but they violently rejected it. In fact, that’s exactly when they established Fatah (1959) and the PLO (1964).

        They could have had a state IN PEACE after 1967, but instead, the entire Arab world issued the Khartoum Resolutions:

        A. No peace with Israel

        B. No recognition of Israel

        C. No negotiations with Israel

        They would have had a state IN PEACE in 2000 with the Oslo Accords, but they violently rejected it- as always.

        And as soon as Israel pulled every single Israeli out of Gaza, what did the
        would-have-been “Palestinians” do? They immediately started shooting thousands of missiles into Israeli population centers, they elected Hamas (whose official platform calls for jihad with no negotiations until Israel is destroyed) to rule them, and they have dug tunnels crossing into the Negev to kill and kidnap Israelis.

        And even afterwards, Ehud Olmert made his subsequent generous offer that went far beyond even that of Barak. The would-have-been “Palestinians” rejected it.

        They had many chances.

        They threw them all away because destroying Israel was higher on their priority list. It still is.

        Oh well….That’s their choice.

    • Here we go. Keep stealing land and pretending its the victims fault.

      • Hey look see! It’s our own little mini-Goebbels…mxm.

        Our own little Jew-hating, nazi-worshippng troll.

        His view of the world? Israel always bad and if it isn’t then I’ll lie to make it appear so.

        Palestinians always good little victims and if not – like when they slit three month old girls throats – then I will lie to make them appear so.

        mxm = mini-Goebbels.

        • Its Ari, our paid IDF settler blogger. Always finding excuses for ethnic cleansing and of course his constant bigotry in the name of his religion.

          • Herr Goebels/mxm,
            It is Muslims who are ethnically cleansing the Copts from Egypt, the Chaldeans from Iraq, the Assyrians from Syria, the Buddhists from southern Thailand the Hindus from Pakistan, the Animists from Sudan.
            But Palestinian Muslims in Israel are a growing demographic profile.
            What does Saudi Arabia pay you to lie?
            A little trivia is in order now. Mxm, did you know Jews were the dominant demographic group in Medina before Mohammed brutalized them?

          • Some demographic information for our resident mini-Goebbels.
            When studying the following information remember this: Islam is the world’s youngest major religion so that anywhere Islam is it usurped others from that land.
            Percentage of Muslims in the following countries:
            Saudi Arabia…100% Muslim. Not one non-Muslim citizen. Saudi Arabia was once home to Zoroastrians, Christians and Jews.
            Afghanistan…100% Muslim. Once home to a large Buddhist and Hindu population. Now Muslims are even blowing up the Buddhist statues too.
            Algeria….99% Muslim. Once 100% Berber.
            Turkey…97% Muslim. Once Christianities second most important seat.
            Bahrain…100% Muslim. Ahh…don’t you love Islam’s affection for diversity?
            Somalia…100% Muslim. Once largely Christian and Animist. Allahu Akbar!
            Mauritania….100% Muslim. Once Animist.
            Iran….98% Muslim. Once Zoroastrian, Christian, Jewish, etc…
            Sudan….all Animists and Christians are dead or in refugee camps thanks to Islam being a religion of peace.
            Meanwhile the Muslim demographic profile in Israel is just under 20% and growing, but our little Goebbels want-to-be accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing. I wonder how much Saudi Arabia pays him to carry their water?

          • I guess he went to claim his US-issued food stamps.

          • Ari, our paid IDF settler blogger. Why point fingers at everyone else when you are covering for your religious fanaticism.

          • Mini-Goebbels/mxm,

            Your response is pathetic.

            Winston Churchill said, “”How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!
            Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as
            hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.”
            It is Muslims (drunk with the madness of their religion) who are fanatics, who blow themselves up in markets filled with women and children, thanks to their religious fanaticism.
            Why do you have to lie about everything? What do the Saudis pay you for carrying their water, our pathetic little waterboy.

          • Ari, our paid IDF settler blogger. Why quote Churchill. How does that repudiate Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

          • Mini-Goebbels,
            For you – a sick pervert who sees what he wants to see instead of reality – there is no repudiating Israeli apartheid or ethnic cleansing.
            It would be like trying to convince Goebbels that Jews were people just like him.
            Oh, wait. My bad. It is an insult to the meanest, lowest Jew to compare him to Goebbels. My apologies. For you, on the other hand, it is a perfect comparison.

          • Ari, our paid IDF settler blogger. The same language and excuses used to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

          • BigSticksWalkSoftly says:

            If all you have to argue with is name calling, then your comments are not appreciated and don’t contribute anything of value.
            Where is any legal or moral arguments to justify continued Palestinian oppression and subjugation?
            There is no value in name calling.
            Palestinians deserve to have a right to return to Palestine.

          • There is no Palestinian oppression or subjugation and that which exists is of their own doing.
            The Wall being an example of this. The Palestinians forced the Wall upon themselves by bombing Israeli buses and pizza parlors. Any sane nation would have built a wall just as Israel did to protect her citizens from death-loving people.
            But now, of course, Palestinian a**-kissers like yourself whine and moan about the injustices of the Wall. Well, phuk it, pal, they cannot have it both ways. If they cannot help themselves from acting like barbarians then they will have to learn to live with the consequences of their own actions.
            Life’s a b*tch, eh?

          • No Palestinian oppression. Just having their land stolen and being subject to apartheid. All by people like Ari our paid IDF settler blogger.

          • BigSticksWalkSoftly says:

            Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in peace and safety with mutual recognition within the context of a just 1 or 2 state agreement.
            Palestinians deserve to have their stories told

          • BS(ws),
            The Palestinian story is told ad naseam by the likes of you. We’re sick of hearing the stories and want something real for a change.

          • Here is why the Palestinian reality isn’t heard, BS. Not that you lose sleep over Palestinians mistreating Palestinians. LOL.

            “Feb 13, 2013

            In another story the Western media apparently refuses to cover, any Palestinian who dares to criticize Hamas or the Palestinian Authority risks being arrested or summoned for interrogation.

            Palestinian journalists are now hoping to bring this to the attention of President Barack Obama when he
            meets with President Mahmoud Abbas next month.

            The journalists say they want United States and the rest of the world to know that the crackdown on freedom of expression in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip is designed to hide
            the fact that Palestinians are governed by two repressive regimes that have no respect for human rights and democracy.”

          • BigSticksWalkSoftly says:

            Your continued attempts at obfuscate at distractions from the plight of the Palestinians at the hands of their Israeli subjugators and oppressors is contributing nothing to a greater understanding of anything,
            Except getting to know how much you hate Palestinians.
            Palestinians deserve a just peace, free from hasbara intimidation and spin, with full civil and human rights

          • You’ve learned your Stalinist-speak well which is another way of saying you sound like an utter moron.

    • kfkhalili says:

      What concessions? Name them, I dare you.

  5. I find that a homogenous (“liberal”) view is not only a stereotype of Brown, but also sometimes an unfortunate reality. Glad to see a civilized discourse seems to have proceeded without incident. All/both sides are heated — this is a complex problem, with people living in horrible conditions, and with a tiny but important country being threatened, with the goal of its extinction. War and one-sided diatribes are not the answer.

    • BigSticksWalkSoftly says:

      Parent 10
      You are misguided in assuming that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is complicated.
      Because it’s not.
      When someone says it is complicated,
      It means that you are not willing to see that this is a simple case of Palestinian suffering.
      Bottom line
      It’s not rocket science
      Palestinians don’t deserve to suffer individually, or as a group.
      People have a right to stand their ground and Palestinians shouldn’t have to pay the price for others atrocities, and don’t deserve to be used by other
      Neighboring countries ,
      To justify their own suppression of democracy.
      It’s not complicated
      Palestinians deserve to have their stories told free from outside oppression and subjugation

      • Gibberish

      • The Palestinians lost the war of 1948 and the war of 1967. When you lose a war, you lose land. Ask the Germans.

        • BigSticksWalkSoftly says:

          Wendy you are misinformed
          The Palestinians never had a military.
          And you forget to mention the unilateral behavior of the Irguns.
          Also, in 1967, Israel surprise attacked its 3 neighboring countries and killed/injured over 300 Americans.
          Palestinians are suffering grave injustices, and it has been illegal and morally incompetent how Israel has stolen Palestinian lands.
          Palestinians deserve a just and lasting peace with full equality

          • So do the Kurds whom your Arab friends are killing daily.

            So do the Sudanese Animists who your Muslim friends are killing daily.

            So do the Coptic Christians who your Arab friends are killing daily.

            So do the Bahia who your Persian friends are killing daily.

            So do the Buddhists who your Muslim friends are killing daily.

            Meanwhile the Palestinians suffer from obesity (Google it if you do not believe it) and teach their children to kill Jews.

            They’ve created their own Karma just as all your beloved Muslim friends have.

            So do the Kurds whom your Arab friends are killing daily.

            So do the Sudanese Animists who your Muslim friends are killing daily.

            So do the Coptic Christians who your Arab friends are killing daily.

            So do the Bahia who your Persian friends are killing daily.

            So do the Buddhists who your Muslim friends are killing daily.

            Meanwhile the Palestinians suffer from obesity (Google it if you do not believe it) and teach their children to kill Jews.

            They’ve created their own Karma just as all your beloved Muslim friends have.

        • You are correct about the Palestinians following the Grand Mufti’s directions from Egypt , they started the war by attacking Israelis before the British left. It was very brutal the Palestinians tortured and killed like the sort of violence we expect from Islamic terrorists. But even before that the Palestinians, broken down to Christians and Muslim sectarian interests believed that the White Paper issued by England to prevent immigration and proved to be a death sentence to many European Jews, began fighting between themselves in the years before 1948, Arabs did most of the bloodletting between themselves over whether Palestine would have a dominant Christian or Muslim government, that part of history is mostly obscured but can be found in one or two volumes that are well researched. The Grand Mufti, who spent the war in Berlin a guest of Hitler and Himmler the latter having raised several SS Divisions in the Balkans during the war incited the Palestinian “Arabs” to rise up and fight the Israelis and a sort of civil war took place for months before the Arab Armies invaded. It is also one of those over looked facts that the nephew who idolized the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was Arafat.
          The fact is Arabs gladly sold their lands to Jews for decades what was not tolerable was the equality of non-Muslims not covered by “Tanzmat” left over reforms at the end of the Ottoman era. The strength of the reforms can be gauged by the 6-800,000 Armenians genocide dispatched with by the Turks in the late 1800’s and another 1.5 million Assyrian christians after the turn of the century. Turkey still will not admit the genocide even when sanctioned.
          These Christian communities were not some European settlements they predated Islam in their regions.
          Is it any wonder the Mufti of Mecca issue a Fatwa last year inciting jihadis to burn all the churches in the Caliphates?
          Islam will not tolerate Israel because it is not an Islamic nation plain and simple Islam as practiced is apartheid.

    • A Nigerian email scammer would like to portray the theft and any return of your money as a “complex problem”. Just a ruse to distract from the theft. Same here.

  6. Dennis Ross on Fox News Sunday

    Published April 21, 2002

    Following is a transcripted excerpt from Fox News Sunday, April 21, 2002.

    Former Middle East envoy Dennis Ross has worked to achieve Middle East
    peace throughout President Clinton’s final days in office. In the months
    following Clinton’s failed peace summit at Camp David, U.S. negotiators
    continued behind-the-scenes peace talks with the Palestinians and
    Israelis up until January 2001, and that followed Clinton’s presentation
    of ideas at the end of December 2000.

    Dennis Ross joins us now with more details on all that, and Fred Barnes joins the questioning.

    Dennis, talk to us a little bit, if you can — I might note that we’re
    proud to able to say that you’re a Fox News contributing analyst.

    DENNIS ROSS: Thank you.

    Talk to us about the sequence of events. The Camp David talks, there
    was an offer. That was rejected. Talks continued. You come now to
    December, and the president has a new set of ideas. What unfolded?

    ROSS: Let me give you the sequence, because I think it puts all this in perspective.

    one, at Camp David we did not put a comprehensive set of ideas on the
    table. We put ideas on the table that would have affected the borders
    and would have affected Jerusalem.

    Arafat could not accept any of
    that. In fact, during the 15 days there, he never himself raised a
    single idea. His negotiators did, to be fair to them, but he didn’t. The
    only new idea he raised at Camp David was that the temple didn’t exist
    in Jerusalem, it existed in Nablus.

    HUME: This is the
    temple where Ariel Sharon paid a visit, which was used as a kind of a
    pre-text for the beginning of the new intifada, correct?

    ROSS: This is the core of the Jewish faith.

    HUME: Right.

    ROSS: So he was denying the core of the Jewish faith there.

    the summit, he immediately came back to us and he said, “We need to
    have another summit,” to which we said, “We just shot our wad. We got a
    no from you. You’re prepared actually do a deal before we go back to
    something like that.”

    He agreed to set up a private channel
    between his people and the Israelis, which I joined at the end of
    August. And there were serious discussions that went on, and we were
    poised to present our ideas the end of September, which is when the
    intifada erupted. He knew we were poised to present the ideas. His own
    people were telling him they looked good. And we asked him to intervene
    to ensure there wouldn’t be violence after the Sharon visit, the day
    after. He said he would. He didn’t lift a finger.

    Now, eventually
    we were able to get back to a point where private channels between the
    two sides led each of them to again ask us to present the ideas. This
    was in early December. We brought the negotiators here.

    HUME: Now, this was a request to the Clinton administration…

    ROSS: Yes.

    HUME: … to formulate a plan. Both sides wanted this?

    ROSS: Absolutely.

    HUME: All right.

    ROSS: Both sides asked us to present these ideas.

    HUME: All right. And they were?

    The ideas were presented on December 23 by the president, and they
    basically said the following: On borders, there would be about a 5
    percent annexation in the West Bank for the Israelis and a 2 percent
    swap. So there would be a net 97 percent of the territory that would go
    to the Palestinians.

    On Jerusalem, the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem would become the capitol of the Palestinian state.

    the issue of refugees, there would be a right of return for the
    refugees to their own state, not to Israel, but there would also be a
    fund of $30 billion internationally that would be put together for
    either compensation or to cover repatriation, resettlement,
    rehabilitation costs.

    And when it came to security, there would be a international presence, in place of the Israelis, in the Jordan Valley.

    were ideas that were comprehensive, unprecedented, stretched very far,
    represented a culmination of an effort in our best judgment as to what
    each side could accept after thousands of hours of debate, discussion
    with each side.

    FRED BARNES, WEEKLY STANDARD: Now, Palestinian officials say to this day that Arafat said yes.

    Arafat came to the White House on January 2. Met with the president,
    and I was there in the Oval Office. He said yes, and then he added
    reservations that basically meant he rejected every single one of the
    things he was supposed to give.

    HUME: What was he supposed to give?

    He supposed to give, on Jerusalem, the idea that there would be for the
    Israelis sovereignty over the Western Wall, which would cover the areas
    that are of religious significance to Israel. He rejected that.

    HUME: He rejected their being able to have that?

    ROSS: He rejected that.

    He rejected the idea on the refugees. He said we need a whole new formula, as if what we had presented was non-existent.

    rejected the basic ideas on security. He wouldn’t even countenance the
    idea that the Israelis would be able to operate in Palestinian airspace.

    You know when you fly into Israel today you go to Ben Gurion.
    You fly in over the West Bank because you can’t — there’s no space
    through otherwise. He rejected that.

    So every single one of the ideas that was asked of him he rejected.

    Now, let’s take a look at the map. Now, this is what — how the
    Israelis had created a map based on the president’s ideas. And…

    ROSS: Right.

    HUME: … what can we — that situation shows that the territory at least is contiguous. What about Gaza on that map?

    ROSS: The Israelis would have gotten completely out of Gaza.

    ROSS: And what you see also in this line, they show an area of temporary Israeli control along the border.

    HUME: Right.

    Now, that was an Israeli desire. That was not what we presented. But we
    presented something that did point out that it would take six years
    before the Israelis would be totally out of the Jordan Valley.

    that map there that you see, which shows a very narrow green space
    along the border, would become part of the orange. So the Palestinians
    would have in the West Bank an area that was contiguous. Those who say
    there were cantons, completely untrue. It was contiguous.

    HUME: Cantons being ghettos, in effect…

    ROSS: Right.

    HUME: … that would be cut off from other parts of the Palestinian state.

    ROSS: Completely untrue.

    to connect Gaza with the West Bank, there would have been an elevated
    highway, an elevated railroad, to ensure that there would be not just
    safe passage for the Palestinians, but free passage.

    BARNES: I have two other questions. One, the Palestinians point out that this was never put on paper, this offer. Why not?

    We presented this to them so that they could record it. When the
    president presented it, he went over it at dictation speed. He then left
    the cabinet room. I stayed behind. I sat with them to be sure, and
    checked to be sure that every single word.

    The reason we did it
    this way was to be sure they had it and they could record it. But we
    told the Palestinians and Israelis, if you cannot accept these ideas,
    this is the culmination of the effort, we withdraw them. We did not want
    to formalize it. We wanted them to understand we meant what we said.
    You don’t accept it, it’s not for negotiation, this is the end of it, we
    withdraw it.

    So that’s why they have it themselves recorded. And
    to this day, the Palestinians have not presented to their own people
    what was available.

    BARNES: In other words, Arafat might use it as a basis for further negotiations so he’d get more?

    ROSS: Well, exactly.

    HUME: Which is what, in fact, he tried to do, according to your account.

    ROSS: We treated it as not only a culmination. We wanted to be sure it couldn’t be a floor for negotiations.

    HUME: Right.

    ROSS: It couldn’t be a ceiling. It was the roof.

    HUME: This was a final offer?

    ROSS: Exactly. Exactly right.

    HUME: This was the solution.

    BARNES: Was Arafat alone in rejecting it? I mean, what about his negotiators?

    It’s very clear to me that his negotiators understood this was the best
    they were ever going to get. They wanted him to accept it. He was not
    prepared to accept it.

    HUME: Now, it is often said that
    this whole sequence of talks here sort of fell apart or ended or broke
    down or whatever because of the intervention of the Israeli elections.
    What about that?

    ROSS: The real issue you have to
    understand was not the Israeli elections. It was the end of the Clinton
    administration. The reason we would come with what was a culminating
    offer was because we were out of time.

    They asked us to present
    the ideas, both sides. We were governed by the fact that the Clinton
    administration was going to end, and both sides said we understand this
    is the point of decision.

    HUME: What, in your view, was the reason that Arafat, in effect, said no?

    Because fundamentally I do not believe he can end the conflict. We had
    one critical clause in this agreement, and that clause was, this is the
    end of the conflict.

    Arafat’s whole life has been governed by
    struggle and a cause. Everything he has done as leader of the
    Palestinians is to always leave his options open, never close a door. He
    was being asked here, you’ve got to close the door. For him to end the
    conflict is to end himself.

    HUME: Might it not also have
    been true, though, Dennis, that, because the intifada had already begun
    — so you had the Camp David offer rejected, the violence begins anew, a
    new offer from the Clinton administration comes along, the Israelis
    agree to it, Barak agrees to it…

    ROSS: Yes.

    HUME: … might he not have concluded that the violence was working?

    It is possible he concluded that. It is possible he thought he could do
    and get more with the violence. There’s no doubt in my mind that he
    thought the violence would create pressure on the Israelis and on us and
    maybe the rest of the world.

    And I think there’s one other
    factor. You have to understand that Barak was able to reposition Israel
    internationally. Israel was seen as having demonstrated unmistakably it
    wanted peace, and the reason it wasn’t available, achievable was because
    Arafat wouldn’t accept it.

    Arafat needed to re-establish the
    Palestinians as a victim, and unfortunately they are a victim, and we
    see it now in a terrible way.

    HUME: Dennis Ross, thank you so much.

    • BigSticksWalkSoftly says:

      Are you serious?
      Did you just cut and paste an entire transcription
      Of an unconditional defender of Israel (Dennis Ross)
      Getting interviewed by a right wing propaganda network(Fox News)
      Right after the 911 tragedies?
      Right about the time the rest of the neocons were trumping up charges of WMDs in Iraq, and describing all Arabs and Muslims as enemies?
      Disgusting and lacking in scruples
      Palestinians deserve a just peace free from oppression and intimidation from people like you , Sheldon Adelson, Michael Lucas, and the Clippers owner
      Palestinians deserve equality

      • Palestinians deserve nothing given their current and past actions and that’s what they’re gonna get.

        The Palestinians are pawns of their Muslim brothers to the west, east, north and south: a cancer in Israel’s side.

        They are jihadist pawns no different than those waging war against Christians in Nigeria, Egypt, Southern Sudan, Syria and Iraq. No different than those waging war against Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh. No different that Muslim jihadists waging a slow war of attrition against the Buddhists in southern Thailand, the Russians in the Caucus region and the Chinese in NW China. No different that the Muslim jihadists who have destroyed Sudan and are now destroying Syria. No different than the Muslim jihadists who have forced have of Lebanon’s Christians to fell that country.

        Israel is Kashmir, the Jews are like Kurds, Israel is a thorn in Islam’s side because she can defend herself against Islamic jihad. Unlike all the Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Animists, blacks who could not protect themselves from Muslim jihad, Israel can and because of this Muslim waterboys like mxm do the dirty work for Islam by creating memes about the Palestinians and Israelis that attack Israel’s legitimacy.

      • Yes, I posted the interview in its entirety. Ross was the chief US negotiator and was in the room with Clinton, Arafat, Barak and Prince Bandar when Israel said yes to Clinton’s demands and Arafat said no. Also instructive are Clinton’s comments immediately after which, though diplomatic, praise Barak and the Israelis for compromising and blame the entire failure to achieve peace on Arafat. That can be found on line at Yale’s Avalon Project. So too did Prince Bandar blame Arafat after telling him that the Palestinians would never get a better deal.

        • Dennis Ross’s account has been contradicted by other American negotiators at Camp David. In fact Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben Ami has stated that if he were Arafat he would not have signed it.

          “In 2006, Shlomo Ben-Ami stated on Democracy Now! that “Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well. This is something I put in the book. But Taba is the problem. The Clinton parameters are the problem” referring to his 2001 book Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy.[41]”

    • You shouldn’t bury the lead and expect people will follow you to it. ” Little stick wishes it was big loudly” has a point but Palestinian propagandist. The PA could have declared a Palestinian State de facto, but that is not their goal; they know they would become a UN Welfare state, as much as Kerry would like to deem Israel an Apartheid state the fact is it is the Palestinians the PA and Hamas who have cited not a Jew will ever be able to live on the West Bank. The end goal of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood which we now have declassified documentation that Clapper, the FBI Director and Panetta knew was committed to assisting terrorist organizations through their politico/ religious branch the ISNA, have direct access to the White House and pose a much graver threat to American freedoms than Israel ever could. Hamas and the PA have as a goal the end of Israel as a Jewish majority state and Homeland. And it isn;t just because of Israeli oppression etc.,. Look at these jackasses who accuse Israel of being a Nazi Apartheid State. The Nazis were adored in the Arab world Naxi criminals found sanctuary in the Arab world.
      Imams like the Mufti of Mecca issued a Fatwa last year inciting the “faithful” to burn all the churches in the Caliphates, churches that predate Islam, Christian communities have been brutalized throughout Islamic nations honor murders, In Syria a Fatwa was issued demanding Jihadis rape Christian women. The Copts and others have been fleeing Islam not Judaism and not because of Israel a false pretext to advocate the worse sorts of religious expressions that are crimes against humanity, and chomsky is a lieing dog who fans the flames of hate. He might be a brilliant philosopher but epitomizes how divorced from humanity scholars can become.

    • Dennis Ross was never nuetral. He is and was a Israel Firster

      “In their 2006 paper The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, John Mearsheimer, political science professor at the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, academic dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, named Ross as a member of the “Israeli lobby” in the United States.[12] Ross in turn criticized the academics behind the paper.[12] In 2008, Time reported that a former colleague of Ross, former ambassador Daniel Kurtzer published a think-tank monograph containing anonymous complaints from Arab and American negotiators saying Ross was seen as biased towards Israel and not “an honest broker”.[13]”

      “Haaretz reported that Ross’s work as a Middle East aide in the Obama administration was burdened by tension with special envoy George Mitchell, to the point that Ross and Mitchell sometimes refused to speak to each other. This report indicated that the tension was caused, at least in part, by Ross’ occasional efforts to conduct negotiations with Israeli government officials without notifying Mitchell. For example, in both September and November 2010, Ross was said to have tried to persuade Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to freeze settlement construction during negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, in exchange for unspecified private assurances and a major military arms transfer from the United States.[25]”

  7. Chomsky might be a brilliant linguist but he should take a place in the line with the other knuckle dragging neanderthals advocating Radical Islamic Revolutions causes knuckle scraping along the floor as they advance the politics and religious practices of hate and crimes against humanity. Chomsky can probably find a reason to blame Israel for the Muslim Brotherhood’s persecution of the Copts, the Fatawa a Syrian Cleric issued inciting Jihadi’s to rape Christian women, the tomes of crimes against humanity Muslims commit against non-Muslims as a practice of their faith or the Islamic radicals in the OIC’s attempts to have a Resolution passed in the UNHRC declaring any criticism of Islam a punishable crime or more recently their stated goal this year to have american Free Speech declared Islam Phobia. Chomsky can probably find cause to blame it on all Israel but that is not reason that is a rationalization driven by a cheaply adorned invested ego. This might fit the rationalizations of Chomsky, a pathetic liar, desire to see his dream of Islamic unity and socialism united into one big anti-Israeli post – colonial revolt but we now know with certainty that was not the objective of the Arab Spring, and Israel is a moot point in the back ground of the Islamic Revolutions desires to crush the rest of the world under the jack boot of Sharia law activists passive and militant. Chomsky is pathetic for being such a “brilliant” man he is little more than a useful idiot.

    • BigSticksWalkSoftly says:

      Your bigoted rant

      • It is anti-Islamic Revolutionary forms of government for sure and for that I won’t apologize. But every detail I presented is fact and can found with a simple search on the net. Accusing me of being a Bigot is your own confession, you are the bigot because you don;t have a thought on the topic you are a mere useful idiot doodle chomsky himself.

        • BigSticksWalkSoftly says:

          Unlike in Egypt, Jordan and other Arab countries, there is no Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. These organization have all been around since the 1920s.
          You are confused, misinformed, and distracted from discussing the suffering of Palestinians, 20% of which are Christians.
          Hamas, on the other hand, is the main Islamic group in Palestine, and got their initial support and funding by the other Religious nationalists in Palestine: Israel.
          Please don’t confuse facts
          Palestinians deserve to have a just peace within the contexts of a 1 or 2 state agreement

          • BS,
            True, no Muslim Brotherhood in the territories, instead they have the Al Asqa Brigade, The Islamic Jihadist Group, Hamas and other Islamist organizations.
            Small details that escape your Muslim-loving mind.

          • Who sponsors Hamas?
            Why did Canada take action against the NAIS?
            Why are you responding to me or the useful idiot of the mullahs little stick wishes it were big?

          • Apologies for the confused sequencing on my response.

          • That;’s okay, I know you are not really Arafat.

          • I’m Arafat’s Karma. A small part of it, but still something to ensure he gets no sleep in his filthy grave.

          • The Muslim Brotherhood is a satellite of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is for that reason Canada took action against the NAIS in their country. If you are going to base your information on this sort of disinformation I can only imagine that you are getting your info straight from the MB. I’;m not confused and I’m not a Islamic Revolutionary like you.

      • No his words are accurate something your words never are.

  8. Bravo to the nation of Israel never in the history of mankind, has a nation contributed so much to the world as Israel has. yet so few thanks. Antisemitism is learned by teachers who are evil, the results are evident!

  9. Debate??
    Socialist Anti-Semite Chomsky aka Democrat’s Alinsky Wordsmith,
    Democrat Former Amb Ross aka Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Democrat adviser,

    DEBATE?? LOL only Brown Students could be fooled by this charade

  10. tabletto68 says:

    Who are the real heirs of Palestine? Amazing story behind the link.

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