web analytics
April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Outgoing Israeli Ambassador Synthesized Training As Historian, Role As Diplomat

Michael Oren

Michael Oren

Share Button

WASHINGTON – Michael Oren was deep inside the State Department, relaxed and taking on all comers: He had the facts on his side.
It was 2004 and the department was reviewing newly declassified National Security Agency evidence reinforcing Israel’s longstanding claim that its 1967 air attack on the USS Liberty spy ship was a mistake. The attack killed 34 American personnel.

Oren, a preeminent historian of the Six-Day War, was not suffering gladly those at the State Department conference who continued to insist, despite all evidence to the contrary, that Israel intended to murder the Americans. Both sides, Oren said, were guilty of negligence.

Israel’s accusers sputtered and then erupted into shouts. Oren sat back in his chair, surveyed the room and smiled.

It may have been the last time Oren was completely at ease in the halls of the State Department.

Oren became Israel’s ambassador to Washington in 2009 and has since been in the hot seat at the State Department multiple times, summoned to provide “clarifications” following some controversial Israeli action. It’s a function he has been called upon regularly to perform during his tenure, which he announced last week would wrap up by the fall.

His successor, Ron Dermer, is – like Oren – U.S.-born.

Oren’s Washington stint has come during a period fraught with tension between two men he says he admires – Obama and Netanyahu – as well as between the Israeli government and the American Jewish community.

The envoy was at the forefront of efforts to push back against rumors – some of them reportedly planted by Netanyahu’s Jerusalem office – that Obama had snubbed Netanyahu on a number of occasions.

Notably, in March 2010 rumors swirled that Obama had snubbed Netanyahu during a visit to the White House. That was just weeks after a near-disastrous trip to Israel by Vice President Joe Biden, on the eve of which Israel infuriated the administration by announcing new building in eastern Jerusalem.

In refuting the snubbing charge, Oren got into the gritty detail of whether Netanyahu had entered through the front or the back (it was the front) and whether Obama’s wife and daughters had snubbed Netanyahu during dinner (they were in New York at a show.)

If one had to single out Oren’s three preferred topics during his term in Washington they would be: the proto-Zionism threaded throughout American history, manifest in the writings and sayings of figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson; the deep intensification of security cooperation between Israel and the United States during the Obama-Netanyahu era, a fact often lost in the verbal volleying on the peace process and Iran; and the touting of Israel’s cultural and scientific achievements.

The New Jersey-born Oren, 58, told JTA in a 2009 interview at the outset of his ambassadorship that transitioning from the truth-telling of scholarship to the spin of diplomacy was like going from “free verse to writing rhymed haiku.”

In March, however, Oren was able to synthesize the two when he joined his U.S. counterpart in Tel Aviv, Dan Shapiro, in designing Obama’s first visit to Israel as president.

The standard stops – Yad Vashem, the Prime Minister’s Office – would not suffice, Oren and Shapiro decided. This is where Oren the historian fused with Oren the diplomat. The Israeli ambassador proposed a visit to the Dead Sea Scrolls that would emphasize what many had felt was lacking from Obama’s 2009 speech to the Arab world: recognition of Israel’s ancient ties to the land.

The trip was a success. Obama’s culminating address to a Jerusalem hall packed with university students, laced with references to the land’s Jewish heritage as well as appeals for a more accelerated peace process, earned long and thunderous applause.
Off in a corner, Oren and Shapiro fell into a long hug.

(JTA)

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Outgoing Israeli Ambassador Synthesized Training As Historian, Role As Diplomat”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Mock Eviction Notice shoved under the doors of students' rooms in predominantly Jewish NYU dorm by NYU SJP.
NYU Latest Site of Anti-Israel Mock Eviction Notices
Latest News Stories
Mock Eviction Notice shoved under the doors of students' rooms in predominantly Jewish NYU dorm by NYU SJP.

NYU SJP students crept into a primarily Jewish dorm and shoved propaganda under the doors of the sleeping students.

Tzipi Livni 2

Even after the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation, Tzipi Livni won’t give up on her obsession with negotiating with the Palestinian Authority – “the door is still open.”

The Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour will play this year in Israel, the first time that Israel has hosted an ATP tournament since 1996, according to the organization. The tournament, offering $1 million in prize money, will take place at the Israel Tennis Center in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat HaSharon Sept. 15-21 […]

Will Starbucks hire Boycott Movement officials when they find themselves out of work?

The Boycott Movement, like the Palestinian Authority, is slowly but surely dissolving itself.

The Israeli security cabinet unanimously decided today that Israel would not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, the terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction. Considered a severe blow to peace talks, the ‘historic’ Hamas-Fatah unity pack was announced on Wednesday following a seven-year power struggle between the two factions. After Hamas’s victory […]

Ostrovsky was beaten and blindfolded during his captivity

Northeastern University has provisionally reinstated the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter on campus. The SJP chapter will remain on probation through January 2015, according to a notification letter from Dr. Laura A. Wankel, the university’s vice president for student affairs. Students for Justice in Palestine was suspended from campus on March 7 for at […]

HAS and El Al are no longer flying the friendly skies together – and loyal customers are getting hurt the most.

Ellen Degeneres gave away SodaStream products to audience members as an eco-friendly Earth Day gift.

Turkey “will strongly support the reconciliation agreement and offer all humanitarian aid” for the Hamas-Fatah unity government that was announced Wednesday,  Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Gaza’s de facto prime minister Ismail Haniyeh. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan became a fan of Hamas five years ago, at the same time relations with Israel […]

Two worshippers in a synagogue on Passover saved a child from death in a burning car that exploded shortly after the rescue. The worshippers rushed to the burning vehicle after hearing the family’ scream for help, and they found the toddler strapped in a car seat. The worshippers, Moshe Kupperman and a second man, identified […]

At the press conference with the Israeli reporters, Abbas threatened to cancel the Oslo Accords, dismantle the Palestinian Authority, and force the Israeli government to pay the salaries of PA employees and the police.

A survivors’ daughter serving in the IDF brings pride and joy to a Holocaust survivor.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas must choose between peace with Israel or Hamas.

Border Police in Yitzhar’s yeshiva have plenty of time on their hands to learn a bit of Torah.

Gaza terrorists have launched another mortar attack on southern Israel, the second such attack in less than 24 hours.

More Articles from Ron Kampeas

But Israel’s stance is not sufficiently consequential to set off a fight between friends, neoconservative scholars said.

Russian-Army-031414

Tensions between Russia and the West are mounting over the Russian military takeover of the Crimean Peninsula, with the United States and European countries threatening to impose sanctions.

Expansive outreach, of course, is nothing new for AIPAC. But in the wake of battles over Iran sanctions legislation that pitted the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse against the White House, many congressional Democrats and liberals more generally, AIPAC’s traditional emphasis on Israel as a bipartisan issue has taken on added urgency.

Administration officials and Jewish groups sympathetic to Kerry’s initiative say there is a longer-term agenda in preempting attacks on the framework peace agreement the Obama administration is expected to propose soon.

“As we have since the beginning of the process, we continue to support Secretary Kerry’s diplomatic efforts to achieve a secure and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittman said in a statement to JTA.

WASHINGTON – Until recently, the rule of thumb in the pro-Israel community was that the bigger the academic group, the less likely it was to consider a boycott of Israeli colleagues.

WASHINGTON – Amid simmering tensions over Iran policy, the Obama and Netanyahu governments appear to have quietly forged common ground in recent weeks on Israeli-Palestinian talks, with the United States accepting that a possible “framework” agreement might not address every outstanding issue in the negotiations.

WASHINGTON – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping the enemy of one’s enemy truly does become a friend.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/government-israel/outgoing-israeli-ambassador-synthesized-training-as-historian-role-as-diplomat/2013/07/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: