Phil Weiss brings word of a USA Today story which notes that Dennis Ross earned over $40o,000 last year in speaking fees, over half from Jewish organizations and $40,000 specifically at Aipac events. If you add to this his senior role at the Aipac-affiliated think tank, Washington Institute for Near East Peace; his chairmanship of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (affiliated with the Jewish Agency and, as such, as quasi-[Israeli] government project), and his new book, Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East, co-written with David Makovsky, a former writer for the right-wing Jerusalem Post and senior WINEP operative, it all points to someone so entwined in the pro-Israel policy apparatus that his analyses must be suspected of partisan bias.
In fact, many analysts suspect the reason Ross was denied the envoy role eventually given to George Mitchell is that he was too palsy with the pro-Israel lobby. It’s no accident, for example, that JPPPI’s board features (former?) Mossad agent, Uzi Arad, currently Bibi Netanyahu’s national security advisor. Arad played an integral role in the Larry Franklin spying scandal and until recently was barred from U.S. entry as a known foreign agent.
Ross only earned $10,000 or so for his average speaking gig which is fairly modest considering his senior status. That would mean he gives an average of forty of these speeches a year. Meaning he spends a considerable amount of time and energy flacking around the country for a “liberal” pro-Israel policy perspective. Keep in mind that for every right-wing nutcase like Michael Ledeen, it’s tremendously useful for Israel to have a presentable liberal voice like Ross or Martin Indyk. That way they cover the waterfront.
Next time you see Ross’ name featured in a media story pontificating on the existential danger Iran poses to Israel, keep in mind on which side his bread is buttered.