Principals Conversation: Dennis Ross:
Ambassador Dennis Ross spoke to a global Brasenose audience on 3 June. We could not have picked a better date because a new Israeli
Cabinet was announced on that day and Dennis was joining us from Jerusalem. He is counsellor and Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Prior to this, he served for two years as special assistant to President Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. He also worked for George Blush and Bill Clinton. He is best known because for more than twelve years, he played a leading role in shaping US involvement in the Middle East peace process and dealing directly with the parties in negotiations including Camp David. He is also a star of “The Human Factor”, a recently released documentary film described as a behind-the-scenes story of the Israeli-Arab peace process from the perspective of the American mediators.
He gave some fascinating insights into the contemporary Middle East and what it was like to be involved in seemingly intractable negotiations. He was very upbeat about the recent Abrahamic Accords between Israel and the UAE but less so about the Palestinian situation.
I would like to thank Marty Gross, our alum for making the introduction to Dennis. If you missed the event you can watch on:https://www.bnc.ox.ac.uk/alumni/recordings
It is great to see the students in the sun playing croquet on the Old Quad lawn and even having tutorials outdoors. I am delighted that we are back to holding dinners, albeit in groups of six with Perspex screens between us. The first which I attended in this series was a HCR Welcome Event. The warmth of the welcome was undiminished by the fact that it was eight months late! We also held a Dinner to welcome new Lecturers and Fellows with the same time lag. This was a particularly joyous occasion.
Our alum Dan Chambers of Blink Films has been at the forefront of the coverage of the interview of Princess Diana by Martin Bashir, having produced three films on the subject.
I have been reading David Keene’s Leaving the Arena and Tim Marshall’s Prisoners of Geography.