Former US Envoy to the Middle East Peace Process Dennis Ross said on Sunday that there is no need for new peace proposals at this moment. He added that there is no more successful mediator for peace than America.
According to Yedioth Ahronoth, Ross said that this time is not for making new proposals, but to build some practical measures on the ground. Arabs48.com, however, pointed out that Ross is not an objective mediator between the Palestinians and Israel. He is a known Zionist as Co-Chair of the Jewish People Policy Institute and part of the pro-Israel lobby in the US.
The news website said that it seems as if Ross intentionally ignored the efforts made by former US President Barack Obama to resume the peace talks in order not to embarrass the Israelis, who were the reason why they were halted.
Ross said that the George W Bush administration did not make any efforts to mediate between the Palestinians and the Israelis, but it did not prevent any other mediation. However, neither the Europeans nor the Russians have made any proposals.
"Everyone has recognised that the mediator must have the means and ability to affect the two sides," he said. Nobody, he claimed could fill the vacuum, because only the US is able to put pressure on both the Palestinians and the Israelis.
The main issue, argued Ross, is not the objectivity of the mediator, but the ability to affect the parties. Moreover, the successful mediator is the one who recognises which agreement could be achievable based on needs not desires. The mediator should know the deep and vital issues between the two sides. He believes that when neither side is ready to take hard decisions, as is happening in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, it is impossible to reach a solution.
The former US diplomat said that the normalising of relations between some Arab states and Israel have produced a new reality in the region. This could continue to proceed because it responds to the interests of the Arab states, and the Palestinians know they cannot stop it.
He also suggested that Saudi Arabia could take steps towards normalisation if Israel proposes the easing of restriction on the Palestinians and giving them building licences in Area C of the occupied West Bank.