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24 January 2009


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Clifford Kiracofe

Aside from the fact that Ross is an agent of a foreign political entity, namely the Jewish Agency (which founded AIPAC through an intermediary), not to mention whatever his relationship is to the Israeli government, we should consider Palestinian perspectives per the negotiations.

So, for example,

Akram Hanieh, The Camp David Papers. Originally in al-Ayyam, then translated into English and made into a book. Then abridged and published in English in Journal of Palestine Studies. The book in English is very useful.


Friends of mine who followed these negotiations very closely and knew some of the Palestinian participants pointed me to this book.


Clifford Kiracofe

The advocacy organization "United Against Nuclear Iran" features Ross, and Holbrooke, and others in its leadership:

"United Against Nuclear Iran thanks Ambassadors Holbrooke and Ross for their commitment, service, and leadership and we congratulate them on their recent appointments to the Department of State."



ritamary - I stand corrected, because my comments only aplly under certain circumstances:

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: The general entry and exit requirements
for Americans traveling to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza are listed below. American citizens may be subject to special restrictions.
American citizens are advised to read all sections of this sheet very carefully for special regulations that may affect their travel.

U.S. citizens who are also citizens of Israel must enter and depart Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza using their current Israeli passport.
Israeli authorities require that U.S. citizens who have a Palestinian identification number, or who may have acquired a Palestinian
identification number via their parents or grandparents, to enter and exit Israel, the West Bank and Gaza using their Palestinian Authority
passport. Without the Palestinian Authority or Israeli passport, these Americans may be denied from entering or exiting Israel, the West Bank
or Gaza, or may face serious delays at the ports of entry.

fanto - I had a security clearance while serving in the U.S. Army. The issue did cause an intense dislike of S-2/G-2
(Military Intelligence) sections thoughout my adventures:

Dual Nationality: The Government of Cuba does not recognize the U.S.
nationality of U.S. citizens who are born in Cuba or are the children of Cuban parents. These individuals will be treated solely as Cuban
citizens and may be subject to a range of restrictions and obligations, including military service. The Cuban government may require
Cuban-American citizens to enter and depart Cuba using a Cuban passport. Using a Cuban passport for this purpose does not jeopardize one's
U.S. citizenship; however, such persons must use their U.S. passports to enter and depart the United States.



The "dual citizenship" theme has gone on long enough, hasn't it?

I was tempted to respond earlier because I have not been able to find a single authoritative statement that either Rahm Emanuel holds dual citizenship or even that he served in the IDF (the NYT profile says that he volunteered in 1991 as a civilian in a logistical capacity during the war with Iraq...).

... but if someone can produce the goods, I would agree 100% that he should not serve in such a sensitive job, not to mention hold a security clearance, without first publicly renouncing his Israeli citizenship (and perhaps not even then...).

So, why pile on, DaveGood and others? I am as angry and disturbed by the recent Israeli incursion into Gaza, but suggesting that anyone identifying themselves as Jewish, whether by birth and/or conversion, and who is thus able to claim Israeli citizenship - though perhaps not with an automatic maintenance of US citizenship, I should add - is automatically disqualified to serve and represent the US is absurd. What's your real point?

If I may add, some of the commentators in this forum reflect hard-minded and cold-hearted agendas that are frankly just as obvious and despicable as the unmitigatedly pro-Israeli bias intrinsic to the Bush "league" of NeoCon manipulators who have progressively been "retired" to the corridors of mass media and certain Ivory Tower perches where they can hide among others who are more transparently fair in their critique of Israel.

Finally, I have no idea whether Dennis Ross has dual citizenship either and would be prepared to review any authoritative proof...

... and just to be clear, I retain Colonel Lang among the honest if still very tough critics of Israel these days... along with other Jews like his friend, Henry Siegman (Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress from 1978-1994... oh well, he must be a part of another malicious manipulation (sarcastic font off!) )


One thing I never quite could understand about all these "Jewish" Something Institute or whatever (like JINSA or JPPPI). If anyone else set up institute that bore the name of any other particular religious or ethnic group--say, the Southern Baptist Institute for International Relations or the Polish American Institute for Eastern European Affairs), they'd be considered fringe organizations that very few "respectable" persons would dare associate with. Apparently not so with these institutions with "Jewish" in their name. Why is that?

Jeremy Block

In my humble opinion, to place a name like Malcolm Hoenlein in the same sentence as Natan Sharansky and Shimon Peres is a bit far fetched. Shimon Peres and Natan Sharansky are genuine leaders of the Jewish people, not fake power seeking tyrants like Hoenlein.


DaveGood, thank you for the list of half-Israeli/half-Americans. No wonder Sharon said not to worry about the U.S. government since Jews run it.

I agree with "J": cancel all those passports, make the holders choose, those that choose Israel should indeed get a free ticket home.


I don't believe there is definite legal structure for special envoy in term of what a president delegate. It is purely a president liking. But almost always, if the person is senior and credible, he carries with him his experience. So mitchell is pretty big deal. He was chosen because what he has done in the past.

To know how much influence a special envoy carry, one has to look for "personal relationship and history". It is a bit informal to some degree. For eg. James Baker as Bush personal envoy carries enormous influence He is the Mr. Fix it. Or Rumsfeld during Reagan era against Saddam. It's easier to guess how much power a special envoy carries for Republican.

On democratic side. It's usually based on what a person has done before and how much the president like and trust that person. The dynamic involves personal relationship and party pecking order.

Mitchell specifically, I think one can pretty much expect "Clinton era" experience, plus what Obama is thinking. Basically, classic Democratic party foreign policy.

Mitchell himself is pretty high in democratic party pecking order. (he can't be easily jerk around for political purpose)


I think in general, looking at who Obama is putting on his middle east team, he is pretty much continuing where Clinton left.


All amnd Batondor

I agree. Let's stay clear of the dual citizenship thing unless it becomes provable about some US public official. pl



Most American Jewish organization check first with what the Israeli position is before they go ahead on anything, and if it is against Israeli government position, then they don't go with it whatever it may be. If a position say the 'left turn' was pro-U.S. but was considered as anti-Israel by the Israeli government, the American Jewish organizations would then tow the Israeli government line against their own best interests as American citizens. Which makes no sense. That is why we have so many problems today (i.e. AIPAC espionage against the U.S., Franklin spying on behalf of the Israeli government, etc.)

That is why 'dual loyalty' can NOT be tolerated. It IS a matter of U.S. National Security!

Charles I

Jose, just one point on Karzai. According to well informed authour/reporter Ahmed Rashid, he spent many long hours with Karzai before the presidential and parliamentary elections and the loya jirga that preceded them trying to convince him that the only way to politically reduce the warlords was through the development of political party-based politics that would offer an organizing principle other than force and corruption.

Karzai could not be convinced that the only route from tribal based politics dominated by warlords to parliamentary democracy would by political parties cutting the ground out from under them.

Rashid, in his excellent book "Descent Into Chaos" quotes Karzai explaining parties were anathema to him based upon his perception of the disastrous effect on Afghanistan that Communist era party politics had visted upon the country.
Rashid also points out that while Karzai could count on Pashtun electoral support, he was less politically secure elsewhere.

The result was the triumph of warlordism, corruption and the poppy state.

Of course, the U.S. preferred a rent-a-warlord security environment so long as the alleged mission was anti-terrorism and not nation-building

Leila Abu-Saba

Interesting about dual citizenship - my father didn't get his American citizenship until US law changed to allow him to have dual nationality. He says the law changed after the 67 war because some guy who wanted to serve in the IDF sued the US govt to allow him to have both nationalities. Rumor, not checked out fact.

My father had a security clearance at NASA in the 70s and 80s because he worked on structural engineering matters for the space shuttle. He was never an adviser to a president however! I believe dual nationals are common in the sciences in this country.

I also have Lebanese citizenship but quite frankly I keep it out of love for my father and my ancestry. I would give it up if I had to choose between that and my US passport. I am an American and have no place other than "foreign cousin" in Lebanon. I certainly enjoy getting Lebanese visa & exit fees waived, and paying 1/10 the tourist price of admission at Syrian museums and monuments. BUt I'm pretty clear on which country I really belong to, where I make my home.

David Habakkuk


You hit a very important nail on the head, in actually possessing dual citizenship, and being entitled to it, are very different things. The former is a matter of conscious choice, from which it is legitimate to make inferences about people's loyalties. The second is a matter of ethnicity.

Prejudging loyalties -- and even more political views -- on the basis of ethnicity is the thin end of a very dangerous wedge.

And ethnicity can be a very poor predictor of political positions. Our current British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband -- whose family is of Polish Jewish origins -- recently stated that the only way for Israel to guarantee its security was 'to negotiate a political situation and empower precisely the moderate forces in Palestine that are so important.'

One of the most contemptuous dismissals of this position -- which is of course that of the largely non-Jewish British government -- came from Sir Gerald Kaufman, the child of Polish Jewish immigrants, in a speech to the House which I linked in a previous thread:

'Today, the current Israeli Government indicate that they would be willing, in circumstances acceptable to them, to negotiate with the Palestinian President Abbas of Fatah. It is too late for that. They could have negotiated with Fatah's previous leader, Yasser Arafat, who was a friend of mine. Instead, they besieged him in a bunker in Ramallah, where I visited him. Because of the failings of Fatah since Arafat's death, Hamas won the Palestinian election in 2006. Hamas is a deeply nasty organisation, but it was democratically elected, and it is the only game in town. The boycotting of Hamas, including by our Government, has been a culpable error, from which dreadful consequences have followed.'

(See http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/kaufman170109.html.)

Quite clearly, this does not represent an abandonment of Sir Gerald's lifelong commitment to Zionism -- still less of his (proud) self-identification as Jewish. What he thinks, quite clearly, is that Israel today is at risk at much from its professed friends as its professed enemies -- and moreover, given that Israel claims to represent and speak for all Jews, the discredit it brings upon itself will reflect on them.

Twenty years ago, when Labour was in opposition, Sir Gerald was Shadow Foreign Secretary. Would we could have him at the Foreign Office today, rather than Miliband!

Babak Makkinejad



Nancy K

J and a few others responding on this site seem a bit xenophobic. Many Americans have dual citizenship and they have these for various reasons. America cannot take away these citizenships because they were not granted by America. I was born an American citizen so if i choose to became say a Canadian, I would have to give up my US Citizenship because the US requires it, however if I were Canadian and became a US citizen I would not have to give up my Canadian because Canada does not require it.
Just because a person has dual citizenship does not mean they are not loyal to the country they and their family lives in. That is very simplistic thinking.


Q&A: "U.S. and Iran Share an Equal Monopoly on Violence"
Omid Memarian interviews former CIA operative ROBERT BAER

The above is a link to a fascinating interview with Mr. Baer who explains why Mr. Ross is absolutely the right guy for the job:

IPS: Obama has repeatedly mentioned talking to Iranian leaders and bringing change to U.S. foreign policy. How could the designation of Dennis Ross as a key advisor on Iran policy contribute to his promises?

RB: Dennis Ross - the important thing is the Israelis are comfortable with him. If a dialogue with Iran occurs, they know he won't betray them. I mean they have had years and years of testing this guy. He's Jewish, he's been honest with the Israelis; he's gone along with their projects, even the crazy ones. If a dialogue is open, the Israelis know they won't be surprised. If Obama had brought someone new in, some professor from Harvard that the Israelis didn't know, they would immediately freeze him out and there would be huge political blowbacks.

IPS: Regarding Ross's positions on certain issues in the Middle East and particularly Iran over the past decade, how will Obama be able to adopt a new foreign policy path in the region?

RB: Well, he [Obama] needs the backing of the Democratic Party to get these things through politically, and that's why he has brought in people like Dennis Ross and Denny Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, simply because he needs that political backing. He cannot bring in untried people and run them against the Democratic Party, because if there is an opening with Iran, there will be a connivance of Israel, maybe a silent one, simply because the Israelis have to go along.

In American politics, you can't do anything in the Middle East without the approval of Tel Aviv, at least on some level. It's impossible. I mean, I cannot think of a country that is so beholden to a small country like this, even a superpower, in all of history. I can't even think of it.

IPS: And why is that?

RB: Look at New York City. Look at the major newspapers. They have a Zionist agenda. They do. I'm not Jewish. I'm not anything. I don't care about the Israelis. And I'm not anti-Semitic. It's just a fact. I suggested to my publisher writing a book on Israel, and he said forget it. You can't talk about the reality of Israel. The only place you can talk about the reality of Israel is in Israel. They tell you things you will never hear in the United States.

IPS: Like what?

RB: For instance, why are people on Gaza so unhappy? Well, if you had to live in a prison, wouldn't you be unhappy? You would never get that in the New York Times. Look at the New York Times; it's almost an extension of Israel.[emphasis added]

Now if anybody want to know WHY things are so? Then refer to previous posts about IQ and Guassian curves at the shoulders. Like the guy said, you can only discuss certain things comfortably, in all places, only in Israel. That's why I read Haaretz, there's more truth there than in the NYT or Wash Post.


Nancy K.,

I am not as you say 'xenophobic'. I am however very concerned as to all the problems that our U.S. now has to deal with as a result of the dual nationality issue, which in turn has spawned 'dual loyalty' issues that are now affecting U.S. National Security (i.e. Pollard, Franklin, and AIPAC's espionage against the U.S. on behalf of the Israeli government, etc..).

Babak Makkinejad

David Habakkuk:

I wish Mr. Miliband would spare us the trite "moderate forces in Palestine" phraseology.

I dare say that Sir Gerald would have been considered an "immoderate" had he been a Palestinian.

I agree with Sir Gerald's "it is too late for that" comment. I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that only war and more war has any chance of forcing Israel from the Occupied Territories; limited war, guerrilla war, x-generation war etc.

There is no peaceful solution possible.

In fact, every time that Israel ceded any occupied territory has been through the force of Arms; 1973 War, War with Hezbollah from 1983-2000, Gaza in 2005. I suspect we will see developments along those lines in Golan and in the West Bank eventually.


Okay --- Rahm Emanuel did not ENLIST with the IDF. He volunteered at a base there during I think the first Persian Gulf War. So -- he was never a soldier, he wasn't in a combat role, and he CAN'T be called up as a reservist.

Also, DaveGood, wake up. Any person with a Jewish grandparent can move to Israel and get citizenship. Jews do not automatically have Israeli citizenship, and Jews do not need Israeli passports to visit Israel (just tourist visas). To repeat: The absolute vast majority of Jews don't have dual citizenship. Israeli-Americans do, but the people on your list aren't Israeli-Americans, just Jews.

Also, yeah, there is someone else with power in this administration who could have dual citizenship because one of his parents was foreign.



On a Related Topic of Special Envoys and the Power of Foreign States in the U.S. The former exec director of the 9.11 comm. explains his paid lobbying role

India’s stealth lobbying against Holbrooke's brief from Foreign Policy- The Cable via Friday Lunch Club.

Initially, when Obama's plans for a corps of special envoys became public after the election,The Cable was told, the idea was for a senior diplomat to tackle the Kashmir dispute as part of the South Asia envoy portfolio and whose mandate would include India. But soon after the election and Holbrooke's name began to appear, the Indians approached key transition officials to make clear that while they could not affect what the new administration did with respect to envoys, that they would expect no mediation on the Kashmir issue.

"I have suggested to others, though not directly to Dick [Holbrooke], that his title should not/not include India, precisely so that he would be freer to work with them," Zelikow said. "If you understand Indian politics, this paradox makes sense."

"I did nothing for the [Government of India] on this," Zelikow added. The Indian government "talked directly to folks on the [Obama] transition team and I heard about it from my Indian friends.

I think Holbrooke needs to talk to the Indians.


Hannah K. O'Luthon

In the interest on even-handedness, I would like to see a list similar to DaveGood's
with regard to the Obama administration. I'm quite willing to wait a few weeks until all senior positions have been filled.
By the way, could
Félix Ismael Rodríguez Mendigutia (born 1941 in Havana, Cuba)
be considered a counter example to the assertion that no other country had highly placed dual nationals? It's true that the latter never seems to have achieved such a high level official title.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

What might change things would be if American über-Zionists acquired some capacity for strategic thought, and realised that in facilitating the attempt to colonise the West Bank they have been handing the Israelis rope with which to hang themselves.

If as I now think highly likely, Israel goes the way of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, I anticipate that historians will see a good deal of the responsibility as lying with AIPAC -- and indeed, see Dennis Ross as having played a non-negligible contribution.

To see the long-term futility of the attempt to dominate the whole of Palestine, one has only to look at the demographics. In addition to the clear trend to an unambiguous Palestinian numerical preponderance, there is the clear trend towards an increased preponderance of the ultra-Orthodox, and the already visible tendency for the 'modern' elements in Israel to move abroad.

What was unconscionable folly was to conclude from the failure of Camp David that Arafat was not a possible partner for peace. As so often, corrupted intelligence was part of the problem, as the Haaretz journalist Akiva Elder brought out in a recent article. It seems that Israeli military intelligence leaders endorsed Barak's embrace of the 'no partner' theory, and the description of Israel's response as a 'war of no choice', made inevitable by Arafat, when this was not what their own analysts were reporting.

As Elder puts it:

'On August 29, 2000, shortly after the Camp David summit, the research unit stated in its situation appraisal that Arafat continued to prefer the negotiations as the way to advance his strategic goals, and he was convinced that violence would not help his cause at that stage. On August 30 the unit advised that Arafat was restraining the crisis and continued to adhere to the Oslo process. In an unprecedented step he also issued instructions to prepare public opinion to accept an agreement that would include compromises.'

(See http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1053882.html.)

As for Dennis Ross, rather than looking carefully at what had gone at Camp David, and thinking about how things might be better handled in future, he preferred to exculpate himself by joining in the chorus which placed all the blame on Arafat.

By providing a more sophisticated version of the 'no partner' theory, he gave aid and comfort to those who purveyed simplistic versions of this theory, and so helped rule out negotiations with the most promising Palestinian partner Israel is likely to have.

The refusal of the Palestinian demand to no let loss of land, as a result of the adjustments to the 1967 borders required to avoid uprooting the bulk of the settlements, was a key sticking point. To Ross it seems absurd that the Palestinians should have let a deal go as a result of such reluctance.

It does not occur to him that it could be seen as even more absurd for the Israelis to let a deal ago because of insistence on maintaining the settlements -- and that the actual effect of the Zionist stranglehold on the U.S. political process may turn out to have been to have doomed the Zionist project.

Israel Lobby Archive

The argument can be made that Dennis Ross, by chairing a Jewish Agency think tank while actively lobbying in the US is violating the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Back in the early 1960's, the Jewish Agency's "American Section" in New York laundered $35 million from overseas to lobby congress and set up AIPAC.


The Jewish Agency also entirely funded AIPAC's precursor, the American Zionist Council, which was shut down by DOJ in 1965.


The Jewish Agency's "American Section" in New York was also shut down in the early 1970's after a Rabbi and a lawyer forced it to file its secret "covenant agreement" with the Israeli government.


It is reasonable to suspect that Dennis Ross is receiving Israeli government funding through the Jewish Agency. Either way, by working for a Jewish Agency entity, and lobbying in the US, Ross should be registering his activity every 6 months at the FARA office in Washington, DC.


This law protects Americans and Congress from foreign influenced propaganda and lobbying.

But at present, Ross is not following the law.

Babak Makkinejad

David Habakkuk:

Thank you for your comments.

One should surmise, based on various IQ discussions here, that the leaders of Israel are fully cognizant of the issues that you and others have enumerated & discussed in this forum over last few months and years in regards to the desirability of peace for Israel.

That they persist in doing what they are doing must, therefore, be attributed to they having concluded that no acceptable peace with Palestinians is possible – ever.

Their activities in Gaza & the West Bank are not those that are conducive to peace; rather they are indicative of a leadership that is certain of its strategic superiority as well as its utter indifference to the Arab World, the World of Islam, and indeed the global audiences.

These are not actions of leaders who have any hope for peace, in my judgment.


If Ross won't follow the law and register himself as an agent of a foreign goverment (Israel), then he needs to be criminally prosecuted, and the Obama administration needs to REMOVE Ross from ALL U.S. government positions considerations!

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