The White House on Friday posted this preview of President Obama’s Middle East trip this week, by Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser.
Taken with a couple of major league newspaper pieces, it adds up to a White House quid pro quo bid to the Israelis: We’ll make pleasant noises about the Jewish connection to the land, you make pleasant noises about peace.
In the preview, Rhodes hits notes, reviewed today in the Washington Post by Scott Wilson, that some Jewish leaders believe Obama missed in his first term, including the Jewish connection to the land of Israel.
Note Rhodes’ reference to Obama’s visit to Herzl’s birthplace. (In fact, Obama, who supposedly missed this note in his 2009 Cairo speech, has made multiple references since then to the Jewish connection to the land, including in his AIPAC speeches).
The notes on Israel’s Jewish connection that Rhodes hits are significant, because Rhodes, 35, has emerged as one of Obama’s closest advisers and is writing his speech to be delievered to a university student audience on Thursday, according to this profile of Rhodes in Saturday’s New York Times.