Ambassador Dennis Ross

Distinguished Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

The Trump Peace Plan: What Does It Tell Us About The Middle East?

About the Topic

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Parting ways with previous U.S. presidents who tried to broker a two-state solution, President Trump has unequivocally thrown the Administration's support behind Israel. In addition to retaining settlements currently under Israel's control, the Administration plan endorses annexation of parts of the West Bank and Jerusalem currently under Palestinian control. They would join a sovereign Israel. As for an eventual Palestine, its contours unclear, Israel would control water rights, air space, and other essentials of statehood. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas would be required to cede governance to an Israeli-approved authority. The President sees an opening, knowing that a number of Arab nations have a diminishing interest in the Palestinian cause, now outweighed by their fear of Iran shared by Israel. Is the two-state concept a relic of the 20th century? What lies ahead for the Palestinians, never consulted in this Administration's planning for peace? Does the context in the Middle East now create new possibilities?

About the Speaker

Dennis Ross is a scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in the Soviet Union and the Middle East. Serving under Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama he helped shape U.S. policy in the Middle East. From 2013 to 2014 he was a senior adviser to the Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations in the Office of the Secretary of State. Currently a Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, he is widely published. His most recent book, with co-author David Makovsky, is Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny (September 2019). He tweets @AmbDennisRoss.