White House’s Mideast advisor Gordon to visit Israel

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The White House’s top Middle East official will speak in Israel later this month at a conference on security and will meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials.

“Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region Phil Gordon will be traveling to Israel on Feb. 15,” Alistair Baskey, a National Security Council spokesman, said in an email to JTA.

“He will address the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) annual conference in Tel Aviv,” Baskey said. “Gordon will also meet with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials in Jerusalem and Ramallah during his visit, as part of our regular, ongoing engagement on a range of bilateral and regional security issues.”

Gordon has been involved in shaping the White House’s Iran policy during talks between the major powers and Iran aimed at keeping it from advancing toward a nuclear weapon.

The Israeli leadership has in recent weeks been increasingly outspoken in its opposition to the talks as they are currently constituted.