WASHINGTON - Dennis Ross emphatically denied any indication that he no longer supported President Obama.
"The idea of trying to get a sense that there is a split with the president is completely untrue," Ross, Obama's former top Iran adviser, told JTA on Tuesday.Ross repeated comments he made to the Daily Beast/Newsweek over the weekend, in which he said that his position as a counselor to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy -- an educational nonprofit subject to tax exemptions -- keeps him from directly advising campaigns.
The Daily Beast story in its headline cast Ross' statement as a "split" between the Obama administration and a "key ally."
Dismissing that notion, Ross said he was still advising the White House on policy. "I'm asked to give my advice from time to time, and I give it," he said, adding that when he speaks in public, "I'm supportive of the president."
Ross blasted pro-Israel analysts who cast his position as a "split" as an attempt to make Israel a partisan issue. "The one thing Israel cannot be or should not be is a partisan issue," he said. "Anyone who wants to turn it into a partisan issue is not helping Israel."