Dennis Ross, senior aide to American President, Barack Obama, stated during a speech in Jerusalem, Wednesday, that all steps must be taken to ensure that Israel āremains a democratic and Jewish Stateā.His statements were made during the Israeli Presidential Conference, āGlobal Perspective for Tomorrowā, in Jerusalem. He said that Israel and the Palestinians must realize the urgency of resuming the stalled peace process.
He also called for halting what he dubbed as āthe attempts to delegitimatize Israelā referring to the legitimate international BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaigns targeting Israel’s policies and violations in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Ross added that peace talks āwill lead to a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with some modifications on borders due to changes the region witnesses in the last 44 years.
The U.S official further stated that neither the United States, nor any other country, can impose a solution to the conflict, and that the issue in question depends on all related parties.
He said that the current status quo in the area cannot remain as it is, and that āthe real threat is the lack of progress in the peace process.
Referring to the speech of U.S. President, Barack Obama, Ross stated that the United States believes that the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 border, with mutually agreed land swaps.
Yet, he added that Israel and the Palestinians must take into consideration the changes that took place since 1967, therefore, according to Ross, āthe borders of the Palestinian State should not be the same as they were in 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Ross did not refer to Israel’s illegal settlements in occupied Palestine, especially in occupied East Jerusalem, and refrained from referring to East Jerusalem as an occupied city that should be part of any peace agreement.
He also did not refer to the internationally guaranteed Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees displaced from their homes and homeland when Israel was created in Palestine in 1948.