Dennis Ross, President Barack Obama’s top Middle East aide who has attracted criticism for his allegedly strong pro-Israel sympathies, will leave his post at the end of this month, the White House announced here Thursday.
He will rejoin the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), an Israel-centered think tank that was spun off in 1985 from the powerful lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Ross served as WINEP’s counselor and a fellow during the George W. Bush administration from 2001 to 2009.
"An institution that believes sound policy lies at the intersection of scholarship with statesmanship is especially proud that Dennis is returning to his intellectual home," said WINEP’s executive director Dr. Robert Satloff.
Despite the generally hawkish views of WINEP’s fellows and their
frequent criticism of Obama’s approach to the Middle East, Ross said in a
statement that his departure from the White House was due to family
reasons. It offered no hint of major policy differences between him and
Obama or his colleagues on the National Security Council.