The Nelson Report, Jan. 5, 2009, reports the following Obama/Clinton mideast personnel choices (but a well-informed friend responds, "Don't believe everything you read"):

"As Special Envoy for the Israel/Palestine tragedy, the pick is Richard Haass, head of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a frequent contributor of Op Eds, interviews and position papers with a special focus on Middle East issues...see the most recent on the outbreak of fighting in Gaza.

Picked for the Special Envoy for Iran portfolio is long-time Middle East expert, and former State official Dennis Ross, despite reported opposition from "liberal" critics who feel he has from time to time been more critical of Israel than they would like.

Undersecretary for P, political affairs, will remain the very respected Bill Burns...a great relief to everyone in the building, it must be noted.

Clinton's pick to head Policy Planning is said to be Princeton professor Anne Marie Slaughter, the esteemed dean of the Woodrow Wilson School.

The non-proliferation crisis...for now, it looks like former Clinton NSC official Ivo Daalder will be returning to the NSC, while former Clinton DPRK negotiator Bob Einhorn will be Undersecretary of State for "T", the non-proliferation shop.

Richard Holbrooke, chairman of the Asia Society, author of the Dayton Peace Accords, former A/S EAP under Carter, et al, will be Special Envoy for India/Pakistan, now that issues have been settled regarding how he reports directly to Clinton, and not also to the President."