THE PLANK JULY 28, 2009
I'm told that Obama is already planning to make this sort of effort--Israeli television interviews etc.--in the coming weeks.
Relatedly, I think Ambinder has this right:
My best of sense of Obama's instincts suggests that he has come to
believe that the way to break out of the status quo on the Middle East
is to change policy only slightly -- that's the pressure to freeze
settlements -- but to change perception significantly -- which involves
a buy-in from the Arab world, which itself is predicated on the fabled
and over broadly characterized "Arab Street" having been convinced that
America is truly more neutral than it has seemed.
Update: Jeff Goldberg has more on the speaking-to-Israel question, including a claim by administration officials that Obama has done that, as part of his Cairo speech.