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Sunday May 22, 2011 10:21 AM (EST+7)
White House aide criticized for pro-Israel positions

Read more: Dennis Ross, George Mitchell, US policy, US foreign policy, King Abdullah, Barack Obama, negotiations, peace process

RAMALLAH, May 21 (JMCC) - In a closed-door meeting with journalists, officials and Mideast experts, Jordan's King Abdullah criticized the role of White House adviser Dennis Ross, reports the New York Times.

From the State Department, “we get good responses,” the Jordanian king said, according to several people who were in the room. And from the Pentagon, too. “But not from the White House, and we know the reason why is because of Dennis Ross” — President Obama’s chief Middle East adviser.

Mr. Ross, King Abdullah concluded, “is giving wrong advice to the White House.”

The paper went on to examine Ross' role in developing the Obama administration's policy on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

By some accounts, Ross' conservative, pro-Israel approach was the reason behind US envoy George Mitchell's resignation from his post last week.

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel reacted sharply to the president’s proposal, the reality is that the course Mr. Obama outlined Thursday was much more modest than what some of his advisers initially advocated.

During the administration’s debates over the past several months, Mr. Ross made clear that he was opposed to having Mr. Obama push Israel by putting forth a comprehensive American plan for a peace deal with the Palestinians, according to officials involved in the debate.

George J. Mitchell, who was Mr. Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, backed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, argued in favor of a comprehensive American proposal that would include borders, security and the fate of Jerusalem and refugees. But Mr. Ross balked, administration officials said, arguing that it was unwise for the United States to look as if it were publicly breaking with Israel.







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