Ambassador Dennis Ross: The history and the future of the U.S.-Israel relationship from the white house

by | Sep 4, 2016 | What’s Happening

Tuesday, September 20, 7:30 pm Sandler Center for the Performing Arts

The 6th annual Israel Today forum kicks off with former U.S. peace negotiator, adviser and ambassador, Dennis Ross.

Ross will speak about the U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama and the potential impact of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on foreign policy. The event is presented by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, community partners, and is in collaboration with the Virginia Beach Forum.

Ross has served in five administrations, both Democrat and Republican, and for nearly 30 years has been influential in shaping American policy in the Middle East. Ross has devoted his professional life to bringing peace to the Middle East, and has chronicled the evolution of Israeli American diplomatic relations in his new book Doomed to Succeed: The US-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama, winner of the National Jewish Book Award in history. He was instrumental in assisting Israelis and Palestinians to reach the 1995 Interim Agreement; successfully brokered the 1997 Hebron Accord, facilitated the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty, and intensively worked to bring Israel and Syria together.

Ross has been awarded the Presidential Medal for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service, and he is currently the Counselor and Davidson Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.

“The CRC has consistently brought high quality, thought-provoking speakers to Tidewater,” says Joel Nied, CRC chairperson. “This year is no different with Dennis Ross as the kickoff to the Israel Today series.”

During his visit, Ambassador Ross will speak on his new book Doomed to Succeed: The US-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama. While U.S.-Israeli relations have been historically very close, each change in administration brings about new relationships between the President and Prime Minister, as well as changes in attitudes toward the conflict in the Middle East.

In a recent televised interview from the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, Ross noted, “Israel should not become a partisan issue…it’s an American issue.”

With the presidential election just around the corner, Ross’ visit to Tidewater is that much more relevant. The next administration should understand that a contentious relationship with Israel will only exacerbate the other ongoing issues in the Middle East. While there may have been criticisms of the Obama administration, under which the ambassador advised, Ross contends that the next president will need to improve ties with Israel. “The United States is going to need someone it can rely upon in the Middle East, someone who it can count on in terms of its basic stability. And that will be Israel,” concluded Ross in the interview.

To purchase tickets for the September 20 event ($40*, $10 for students), visit or call 757-385-2787.

For more information on the Israel Today series, including details on other upcoming events, visit or call 757-965-6107.

Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama, will be available for purchase and signing after the program.

*Note that a convenience fee applies to all online ticket purchases. Tickets can also be purchased at the Sandler Center without any additional charge.

Wendy Weissman, assistant director,  Community Relations Council