Yesterday at the AIPAC Policy conference, there was a Foreign Policy Roundtable featuring Ambassador Dennis Ross, Ephraim Sneh (former Israeli Deputy Defense Minister), Rep. Howard Berman (Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee), and Elizabeth Cheney (former Deputy Secretary of State for Near East Affairs).
The full one-hour audio of the panel is here. The last question put to the panel was this:
I want to ask each of our panelists to close by making a prediction . . . What do you predict we will be talking about next year at this policy conference as it relates to the US-Israel relationship?
Here are the complete answers by each of the panelists:
Dennis Ross: We will be talking about
Ephraim Sneh. A year from now
Howard Berman: Darned if I know, but we may be talking about an
Liz Cheney: I think it depends in large part upon the outcome of the election in November. I think it depends upon whether we elect a president who will continue the policies that this president deserves tremendous credit for in the war on terror. (Applause). I think it will depend upon whether America stays on the offense, whether America continues the policy in Iraq, continues the success that we’ve seen with the surge, continues what the CIA director calls the near strategic defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq (Applause), and I think it depends on whether we elect a president who understands and supports the importance and unique nature of the relationship between the United States and the state of Israel. (Applause). And I agree that we will be talking about
Dennis Ross’s answer reminds me of Henry Kissinger’s observation that every memo he received as Secretary of State contained three options: (a) unilateral disarmament, (b) nuclear war, and (c) a third option favored by the author of the memo. Except that Ross does not identify the third option -- he just favors one.
The third option is obviously effective diplomacy, but effective diplomacy requires a credible threat of force. That is why Ephraim Sneh’s answer was important, and Liz Cheney’s observation was correct. If there are leaders in the