One step forward, five steps back

In case anyone thought Obama would offer anything different on the Middle East (other than uncritical pro-Israelism), this will ensure the status quo ante (here’s why):

The incoming Obama administration has chosen former Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross to coordinate policy toward Iran and is unlikely to shift policy toward Israel in the near term, people familiar with the transition process said Wednesday.

Mr. Ross is to be “ambassador at large and special adviser to the secretary of state” for Middle East affairs, said Chris Nelson, author of a newsletter, the Nelson Report, that tracks foreign policy and personnel. Mr. Nelson obtained a memo from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank where Mr. Ross is a “distinguished fellow,” to its trustees that reported the appointment.

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