Obama appoints Ben Rhodes, Iran deal messenger, to Holocaust Memorial Council

The council comprises 55 members appointed by the president. Its primary task is to fundraise for the nation's Holocaust Museum and its various projects.

January 17, 2017 18:43
1 minute read.
Ben Rhodes

Deputy US National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes . (photo credit: REUTERS)

WASHINGTON – With only three days left in office, US President Barack Obama announced several key administration posts on Wednesday, including the placement of Benjamin Rhodes, one of his top foreign policy advisers, on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

The council is comprised of 55 members appointed by the president. Its primary task is to fund-raise for the nation’s Holocaust Museum and its various projects.

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Rhodes served as deputy national security adviser for strategic communications under Obama, and became one of his closest confidantes. He was the chief architect of a strategy to sell the Iran nuclear agreement to the public.

Since the agreement was implemented last year, Rhodes has also called for an improvement in relations with Iran beyond the nuclear accord. “Engagement creates opportunities that we deny ourselves by insisting upon isolation,” he told the Atlantic Projects Iran Project in June, discussing the Obama administration’s “test for a diplomatic rapprochement” with Tehran.

His work ran into harsh criticism from members of the Israeli government, the American Right and corners of the established American Jewish community.

Some, including Israel’s current foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman, compared the nuclear deal to the 1938 Munich agreement that led to World War II.

Rhodes, 40, is Jewish. He has worked with Obama since 2007.

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