Ross: Both sides lost faith in commitment to peace (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST COM STAFF 06/20/12)
JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-Top
Both Israelis and Palestinians have lost faith in the other´s
commitment to a two-state solution, former US ambassador and Mideast
peace envoy Dennis Ross said Wednesday, prescribing steps both sides
can take to reestablish that belief.
"Confidence is something that when it´s lost, you have to restore it.
But this isn´t a case of lost confidence, this is a loss of belief,"
he said at the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem.
Watch live video from the conference here
He outlined six steps Israel could take to restore belief it is
committed to a two-state outcome, most of which involved making
visible preparations for the eventual evacuation of settlements and
increasing Palestinian authority within the various areas of the West
Palestinians, he said, must change the way they talk about Israel,
starting with putting on official Palestinian Authority maps in
textbooks and websites. In addition, the PA should begin talking
about the Jewish people´s connection to the land and Jerusalem, in
addition to discussing the difficult decisions peace would require of
Ashkenazi: Israel must maintain military power
Also speaking at the conference Wednesday morning was former IDF
chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, who highlighted
what he said is the primary challenge facing Israel in the near
Israel´s main challenge, he said, is maintaining its relative
military power through the social and economic challenges facing the
That he said, includes issues such as expanding the public´s
participation in civil and military service, although he departed
from calls to enlist all eligible 18 year olds into the IDF.
Not everyone should serve in the IDF, but the IDF should choose who
it wants to draft, he explained. "Everyone should go to a virtual
intake base and the IDF should have a right of first refusal," adding
that those not drafted should serve in the ambulance or police
services, including the Arab public.
"I don´t see why someone can be a doctor or pharmacist but cannot
volunteer with Magen David Adom," Ashkenzi said of the Israeli Arab
Addressing the Iranian threat, the former chief of staff said the
best strategy is to do everything we can to slow down or stop the
Iranian nuclear program before the threshold of war is reached. Doing
so, he continued, should include "painful sanctions and credible
threats of military action." (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY