Does Dennis Ross believe that Iran is a “demonic” nation? Apparently so, at least according to the latest report from the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute.
Readers of The Nation may already have seen my thumbnail profile of Dennis Ross, Hillary Clinton’s special envoy for “the Gulf and Southwest Asia,” i.e., Iran. A smooth talking but hawkish diplomat who spent most of the past decade at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel thinktank in Washington, Ross is at best a controversial choice for an administration dedicated to opening a dialogue with Iran. Among other things, during his trenure at WINEP, Ross expressed skepticism about the value of talks with Iran.
Here’s an addendum to that profile: until his recent appointment, Ross served as chairman of the board for the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (JPPPI), an Israel-based organization that, according to its web site, “makes an annual presentation to the Israeli Cabinet as a whole on main developments in the Jewish world, offering its assessments and policy recommendations.”
The organization adds:
JPPPI’s work serves as the basis for assessments, alerts and strategic policy designs provided to Jewish decision makers, and to opinion leaders and publics at large.
In the latest of those annual presentations, the JPPPI refers to “the international threat posedby nuclear weapons capacity in Iran (and other demonic societies).” Yes, you read that right: demonic.
The JPPPI report adds that Israel has been abandoned to face the threat from Iran alone:
The past year has aggravated the Israeli dilemma of how to act vis-à-vis Tehran, and there is a mounting sense that the international community would rather leave Israel to deal with the problem on its own.
The report goes on to express a concern that an effort by the Obama administation to reach what the JPPPI calls a “regional deal” with Iran might be part and parcel of a “relatively aggressive effort to resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict, and perhaps even to bring about the nuclear disarmament of the Middle East.”
As Patrick Lang, a former Defense Intelligence Agency official, reports on his blog, the JPPPI was founded by the Jewish Agency in 2002. The Jewish Agency, formerly known as the Jewish Agency for Palestine, was the provisional government of Israel at its inception, and it receives official support from the government of Israel today. According to its official website, the Jewish Agency was the “de facto government of the state-on-its-way” in the period before Israel’s founding in 1948, and in 2008 it had a budget of $314 million.