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Mideast Adviser Dennis Ross: US Has Long Had Ups and Downs With Israel

Newsmax TV's "The Steve Malzberg Show"

By    |   Monday, 19 Oct 2015 04:50 PM

President Barack Obama may have a prickly relationship with Israel, but he's far from the first commander in chief to have issues with the Jewish State, Dennis Ross, author of "Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama," tells Newsmax TV.

"Probably the president who had the most adversarial view of Israel was [Dwight] Eisenhower," Ross said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."

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Ross served as a special Middle East coordinator for President Bill Clinton and adviser to Sec. of State Hillary Clinton on the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia.

"Eisenhower … actually contemplated using American force to expel the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] from the Sinai in the 1956 U.S.-Sinai War.

"He also threatened sanctions against Israel and he had his undersecretary of state tell the Israelis that if they didn't stop the war, we would actually consider expelling them from the UN. We've never had a president who had those kinds of attitudes."

He noted that President Ronald Reagan, who's remembered as being one of Israel's best friends, had issues at the beginning of his first term.

"[In] the first two years of his administration he actually threatened the future of the relationship on multiple occasions and he actually suspended F-16s to Israel as a punishment."

Asked his opinion of Obama's relationship towards Israel, Ross told Malzberg, "He looks at the Palestinians as being the weaker player, the Israelis being the stronger player and he believes that the onus for acting [appropriately]  is on the Israelis, not on the Palestinians.

"When he came in to office he really had a perception that distancing made sense partly because he was trying to show the difference in himself from George W. Bush. That's also not unusual. Presidents frequently try to show how they're different from their predecessors.

"In this particular case, President Obama was convinced that a major problem we had with Arabs and Muslims was because of Bush's approach in general and at least one element of that approach was Bush being seen as being so close to Israel — and he was going to demonstrate a difference."

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President Barack Obama may have a prickly relationship with Israel, but he's far from the first commander in chief to have issues with the Jewish State, Dennis Ross, author of "Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama," tells Newsmax TV.
israel, president obama, dennis ross, jewish state
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2015-50-19
Monday, 19 Oct 2015 04:50 PM
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