Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Some Questions for Dennis Ross

As Ambassador Dennis Ross prepares to speak at the upcoming J Street conference, he might want to think about addressing a few serious concerns during his speech. While Ross has certainly been a friend to Israel, some of the people he’ll be sharing the spotlight with at the conference have not. Far from it — quite a few of them can’t be characterized as anything other than outright enemies of the Jewish state. And so by lending his profile to the event, Ross is giving credence to the noxious ideas of his fellow conference speakers.

The Emergency Committee for Israel has outlined some of the troublesome statements made by other conference speakers in a letter it sent to Ross today. These include the claim that Israel is “a full-fledged Apartheid system,” as Ross’s fellow speaker Mustafa Barghouti alleges. Add to that the insistence, by Nadia Bilbassy-Charters, that Hamas shouldn’t be “lumped in” with other terrorist groups. And Edina Lekovic’s designation of Osama bin Laden as a “freedom fighter.” Consider also the allegation, by James Zogby, that the IDF is waging a “Holocaust” against the Palestinian people. And the dangerous theory that Jewish members of the Bush administration were surreptitious agents of Israel, as advanced by Lawrence Wilkerson.

If all that isn’t sufficient to dissuade Ross from attending the conference, how about the contention that Israel is illegitimate or that it must be boycotted or that its government officials and soldiers are war criminals, or any of the other delegitimization themes promoted by NGO leaders like Naomi Chazan, Rebecca Vilkomerson, and Oded Na’aman.

It can be assumed that Ross doesn’t buy into these toxic claims. So why would he give them legitimacy by tying his name to this event? Will he address and reject them unequivocally during his speech? And is he prepared to deal with the consequences to his reputation if these sort of outlandish statements are made during the conference he’s keynoting?

The Emergency Committee for Israel has rightly asked Ross to “seize this moment to explain why the Jewish State is not just one of our closest allies, but a country that fully deserves the admiration and moral support of all Americans.” This type of vicious anti-Israel rhetoric can’t be allowed to pass by unchallenged. And if Ross fails to address it, there’s certainly nobody else speaking at the conference who will.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.