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August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Michael Oren’

Kulanu Chairman Kachlon Apologizes to US for Oren Criticizing Obama

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Kulanu party chairman Moshe Kachlon rushed off a letter of apology on Wednesday to U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro in the wake of Oren’s sharp criticism of President Barack Obama by Kulanu  Knesset Member Michael Oren.

Oren gave a sneak preview of his book, “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide,” in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal this week in which he charged that Obama purposely harmed the relationship with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Kachlon is the Finance Minister in the Netanyahu coalition government, but Oren’s new book, which records his observations of his term as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, set off fears in Kachlon’s mind that everyone in Washington is saying, “Oh, rats. The Kulanu party is out to get us, so let’s get out the darts and use them for target practice on its leader Kachlon, because we are going to have deal with this guy one day.”

Naftali Bennett, chairman  of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party, must be rolling the floor laughing today after reading Kachlon’s letter.

Bennett led a “stop apologizing” campaign in the elections, in which he said it is time for Israel to stop saying it is sorry for being such a thorn in the side of the world that wants them to behave like toy soldiers and let the gods of the State Dept. and the European Union run the country.

The entire text of Kachlon’s letter is printed below. Before he apologized, he made it clear that has concern is for the image of his party, as if Shapiro cares. He wrote:

Allow me to state that when I initiated ‘Kulanu’ my main goal was to establish a Zionist party that puts Israel’s security and its citizens’ prosperity and well-being as top priority.”

After setting out his credentials as another pompous politician, Kachlon explained to the Ambassador how much he believes  that the “intimate” relationship between Israel and the United States and American support for Israel are great assets.

He then told Oren how smart he is for figuring out all by himself, in a single day, that Oren’s book might cause controversy.

Assuming Shapiro had not already thrown the letter away, he read that Kachlon wrote:

First, “Ally” was written long before Dr. Oren joined ‘Kulanu’ or was even considered by me to join the party.

Second, ‘Ally” is a personal memoir of Dr. Oren….and therefore present s personal perspective and experience while serving as Ambassador.

Kachlon did not even mention the content of the book. His only problem with the book is that it was written by a member of his party, which one day he hopes will run the country.

Kachlon does not understand that President Barack Obama leaves office in 2016 and that there is reasonable chance that a Republican will be in the White House.

Any Republican, no matter who, will have a better understanding of the world than Obama.

The next American Ambassador to Israel might be scratching his head and wondering why Kachlon did not endorse Oren’s book.

 

Oren's letter

State Department Says Amb. Oren’s Criticisms of Obama ‘Absolutely Inaccurate and False’

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Not surprisingly, an op-ed written by former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren (currently a member of Knesset in the Kulanu Party) in which Oren was highly critical of President Obama’s treatment of Israel, was the topic of acerbic questioning during Wednesday’s State Department Daily Press Briefing.

The op-ed appeared in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, and Oren wrote that President Barack Obama “deliberately” abandoned a 40-year core policy regarding Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria.

Oren wrote that President Obama is a “friend” of Israel but nevertheless maintained that while anyone can make a mistake, President Obama did so on purpose.

Despite the description of the exchange between ranking press corps member Matt Lee of the Associated Press and State Department Spokesman John Kirby which appeared in the extreme leftist Haaretz, Kirby did not simply reject Oren’s critical op-ed as the work of “a politician trying to sell a book.”

What Kirby did say was that neither he nor the Secretary of State had yet read Oren’s book, but that the op-ed “conveys his perspective as an advocate for his government, and now as a politician who’s promoting a book.”

However, Kirby rejected Oren’s allocation of blame, stating categorically that “the account of President Obama’s leadership in the U.S.-Israeli relationship, is absolutely inaccurate and false, and doesn’t reflect what actually happened in the past.”

Kirby also specifically stated that Secretary Kerry “knows” that Oren “had limited visibility into many of the private discussions and deliberations that he describes.”

Nonetheless, the usual boilerplate “unbreakable ties” between the U.S. and Israel, and Israel’s security being “sacrosanct” was repeated by Kirby, who also quoted Secretary Kerry, with whom he said he spoke that morning, as saying, “it’s more important that we move forward in a constructive way than dwell on these accusations, false as they may be.”

Israel Saved Obama’s Neck on Assad’s Chemical Weapons

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Israel let President Barack Obama off the hook on which he hanged himself by saying he would bomb Syria because of Bashar Assad’s’ use of chemical weapons, former Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren wrote in his new book.

The man behind the covert plan was none other than Yuval Steinitz, who at the time was Minister of Intelligence. He also is one of the loudest hawks when it comes to warning that President Obama and the other P5+1 powers are in the midst of making a terrible if not lethal mistake by dealing with Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

Assad’s use of chemical weapons, a war crime – as if he were not guilty of others – was discovered in 2013.

President Obama had done everything possible to avoid getting directly involved in the war in Syria, where any result would be a bad result.

However, the use of chemical weapons was a red line President Obama could not ignore.

Obama threatened several times to bomb Syria, and after a month he suddenly changed course 180 degrees.

Oren said it was due to Steinitz, who with the approval of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came up a plan for Assad to turn over his chemical weapons stockpile to Russia, Assad’s ally.

Bloomberg News reported that Oren wrote in his new book “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide,” to be launched next week but not yet released to the public, that Israel was not against an American aerial attack but was willing to help the president avoid it.

Steinitz was the source of the idea even if it was not a plan so much as an off-the-cuff remark that set off a domino chain reaction.

According to Oren, Steinitz mentioned the idea to the Russians, and then to the State Dept., which did not take him too seriously. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took it very seriously, and the plan quickly moved forward in the United States and United Nations, with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s blessing.

Oren wrote:

The idea originated with an Israeli minister, Yuval Steinitz, who first pitched it to the Russians, who were eager to avoid an American intercession that they could not stop. Netanyahu next brought it to Obama and received a green light.

Before Obama changed course, he had gone so far as to ask the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby to lobby for a war resolution, Oren writes.

Obama never credited Israel, which Steinitz and Netanyahu agreed would not be a good idea,

Steinitz told The New York Times that that he and Prime Minister Netanyahu kept their mouths shut about their role in helping Obama so that no one would say “it’s an Israeli strike [or] Israeli conspiracy, [and] maybe it’s a reason to stop it.”

He told the newspaper:

They never asked if they can give us credit, and we never asked them to give us credit,” he added. “Until today, it was a secret.”

Israel didn’t want credit, giving both Russia and Obama the opportunity to boast.

Oren wrote:

In subsequent interviews, Obama rarely missed the chance to cite the neutralization of Syria’s chemical capabilities as an historic diplomatic achievement.

Russian president Vladimir Putin also took credit for the initiative and praised this ‘vivid example of how the international community can solve the most complex disarmament and non- proliferation tasks.’

Israel’s role remained unmentioned, but its citizens were relieved not to have to sign up for more gas masks.

Granted that President Obama may not think that Israel should bow down to him for not bombing Syria instead of risking retaliation against Israel and the horrendous scene of Israelis walking around with gas masks on their faces because of a chemical attack.

And granted that Obama should not let Israel dictate policy on key issues just because Israel helped him in another area.

But it is one thing not to thank Israel, at least not in public so the the Arabs won’t get upset, and it is another matter to create an image of hate of the leader of an ally that, intentionally or not, may have saved President Obama from one of the worst of the many disasters of his foreign policy.

No one is asking him to say, “Thank you,” but it is reasonable to expect a bit of civility. Obama simply can’t get over his control trip complex.

The president’s obsession with the non-existent “peace process” and with a deal with Iran, no matter what, has blinded him into treating Netanyahu like a voodoo doll in which he has to stick pins.

Ex-Amb. Michael Oren Says Obama ‘Deliberately Abandoned Israel’

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and now a Knesset Member with the Kulanu party, wrote Tuesday that President Barack Obama “deliberately” abandoned a 40-year core policy regarding Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Oren stated that President Obama is a “friend” of Israel but nevertheless maintained that while anyone can make a mistake, President Obama did so on purpose.

In his words:

Only one leader made them deliberately. Obama promoted an agenda of championing the Palestinian cause and achieving a nuclear accord with Iran.

It took Oren six years to respond and correct part of President Obama’s “Reaching Out to Muslims” speech in Cairo, in which he said, “When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs.”

Oren, who still is a champion of the “peace process,” sounded like a Netanyahu sympathizer in part of his op-ed, writing that President Obama ignored Israel’s withdrawal of all Israeli soldiers and the expulsion of 9,000 Jews from Gaza in 2005. Obama also ignored several major concessions to the Palestinian Authority, including one that offered it almost all of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.

President Obama said in his speech that Israel should freeze all building for Jews in “settlements,” to which Oren finally wrote in his article:

Israeli leaders typically received advance copies of major American policy statements on the Middle East and could submit their comments. But Mr. Obama delivered his Cairo speech, with its unprecedented support for the Palestinians and its recognition of Iran’s right to nuclear power, without consulting Israel.

The Bush administration had committed itself to writing in a letter to then-Prime Ariel Sharon that large population centers, such as Maaleh Adumim and Gush Etzion, would remain under Israeli sovereignty in a future Palestinian Authority state.

Obama abandoned that policy and insisted that the promise by Bush was an “unofficial” and non-binding letter. In Oren’s words:

Mr. Obama also voided President George W. Bush’s commitment to include the major settlement blocs and Jewish Jerusalem within Israel’s borders in any peace agreement. Instead, he insisted on a total freeze of Israeli construction in those areas —’not a single brick.’

It was clear from that time that the Obama was working behind the scenes, and sometimes up front, on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and against Israel.

Oren came out of the closet in his op-ed today and charged that President Obama never asked for any concession from the Palestinian Authority despite the fact the Mahmoud Abbas “violated all of his commitments.”

The United States so far has publicly opposed a Palestinian Authority effort in the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israel for a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria and to vote the Palestinian Authority into the United Nations as a permanent member.

However, the Obama administration has made open statements that it does not know how much longer it wants to use its veto power in the Security Council on behalf of Israel.

President Obama abandoned a four-decade U.S. policy in May 2011 and stated that a future agreement with the Palestinian Authority should be based on the borders drawn under the 1949 Temporary Armistice Agreement, which lasted until the Six-Day War in 1967.

Oren wrote:

If Mr. Netanyahu appeared to lecture the president the following day, it was because he had been assured by the White House, through me, that no such change would happen.

He also wrote that the Obama administration “stunned” Israel by offering to support a Security Council investigation of settlements and by backing Turkish and Egyptian maneuvers to force Israel to come clean on its nuclear capability.

Ban on American Flag Vetoed by UC Irvine Student Govt Leadership

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Last week the student government of a public, taxpayer-supported institution which receives boatloads of  research and other money from the U.S. government voted to ban the American and all other flags from hanging in the student government main lobby on campus. It happened at the University of California at Irvine.

The Resolution, “Flags and decoration adjustment for inclusivity” was introduced by Matthew Guevara, the “student ecology” representative to the student government, the Associated Students of University of California at Irvine. It was seconded by Khaalida Sidney.

According to the Resolution, which was passed six in favor, four opposed and two cowardly abstentions, “the American flag has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism,” and its display “does not express only selective aspects of its symbolism but the entire spectrum of its interpretation.”

This legislation also points out that “flags construct paradigms of conformity and sets homogenized standards” and that “a common ideological understanding of the United states includes American exceptionalism and superiority.”

All of this, the drafters of the Resolution note, is a barrier to the “safe space” and inclusiveness the ASUCI hoped to create.

And then the Resolution concludes with its “Resolved” clause: “Let it be resolved that ASUCI make every effort to make the Associated Students main lobby space as inclusive as possible. Let it further be resolved that no flag, of any nation, may be hanged on the walls of the Associated Students main lobby space.” (See the full Resolution, here.)

Yeah, well, not so much.

The ASUCI student government president Reza Zomorrodian issued a statement the same day the legislation passed. Zomorrodian expressed his firm opposition to the resolution, despite “understand[ing] the authors intent and supporters intent.”

On Saturday March 7, just two days after the ban was approved, the ASUCI executive cabinet voted to veto the ban, stating its belief that the ban is “counter to the ideals that allow us to operate as an autonomous student government organization with the freedoms of speech and expression associated with it.”

The veto statement went on: “It is these very symbols that represent our constitutional rights that have allowed for our representative creation and our ability to openly debate all ranges of issues and pay tribute to how those liberties were attained.”

Acknowledging the perversity of using the mechanisms created by the American form of government to ban the symbol of that government, the executive cabinet members wrote:

As students in an academic institution we encourage all students on campus to participate in open debate about a wide array of issues and to actively engage in academic curiosity, which lies at the backbone of a preeminent academic research institution. It is this freedom to be able to navigate and explore topics on a wide range of issues that we see at risk if we begin to engage in a particular form of regulation of free speech and its expression through symbols in any space associated with our organization.

And even the grown ups at this University of California school (the same school, incidentally, at which then-Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren had been repeatedly booed and heckled during a speech) immediately weighed in, condemning the flag ban.

The UCI administration issued a statement on Saturday, March 7, calling the Resolution “misguided” and “not endorsed or supported in any way by the campus leadership, the University of California, or the broader student body.”

The administration noted that the ASUCI executive cabinet would be meeting that day to discuss whether to veto the ban, something the administration “encouraged.” The administration also recommended that the legislation not be pursued any further, and pointed out that the American flag was still “proudly flying throughout our campus and will continue to do so.”

Election Tidbits: Michael Oren, Rami Levi, Jewish Home and Shas

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Rabbis and Shas political leaders Monday morning failed in a last-ditch attempt so stop former party leader MK Eli Yishai from leaving Shas and setting up his own party, possibly with the support of the Jewish Home’s Tekuma faction, headed by Housing Minster Uri Ariel.

Chances to make peace between Yishai and Shas chairman Aryeh Deri were rated as very low, but there is more optimism in the Jewish Home party. However, Ariel gained an advantage with the announcement that a member of his faction, MK Yoni Chetboun, will not run for re-lection on the Jewish Home slate.

Party member and Tekuma colleague MK Orit Struk has said she will follow Ariel if he forms a new party or joins with Yishai. With Chetboun and Struk, Ariel will have the minimum of number of Jewish Home MKs needed to take along with them millions of shekels for funding their campaign.

Suspense still surrounds Moshe Kahlon’s new Kulanu party. He is courting Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, who said two months ago he would not enter politics. If he does, he will have proven his credential to be a politician by not keeping his word.

Kahlon has scotched rumors that supermarket mogul Rami Levi will join his party, whose banner will be social justice.

Rami Levi supermarkets are known for having the lowest prices in the country but he also is known for fighting attempts to raise the minimum wage, which he pays to thousands of his workers.

 

 

 

Ambassador Michael Oren Warns Obama is Legitimizing Hamas

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren slammed the American government Monday morning, commenting the Obama administration is relating to Hamas terrorists as a legitimate organization.

Oren told Army Radio in an interview that Israel does not have to have international backing, however. “We see the first signs of weakness on the side of Hamas,” he said. “We need to clarify once and for all that our priority is to return security to the citizens of Israel however in whatever way is necessary.”

Casting Hamas in the light of a de facto legitimate entity is a very dangerous thing to do. It creates the erroneous impression in the eyes of the world that this terrorist organization is a sovereign body with whom one should negotiate. But it’s not. This is a proxy group of terrorists, like mercenaries, acting for Iran and other Arab nations, carrying out attacks on Israeli civilians like a bunch of Middle Eastern land pirates. Hamas was behind the last two intifadas and is working hard to ignite the third one, already well on its way to massive violence inside pre-1967 Israel.

Why would U.S. President Barack Obama have any interest in legitimizing their image, already burnished brightly by Turkey, Qatar and Iran? Could it have something to do with Obama’s possible affinity for the Muslim Brotherhood?

Obama’s first speech in the Middle East upon taking office was launched from Cairo — but in a slap at the leader of the host nation, he invited guests were from the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which made it impossible for President Hosni Mubarak to attend the event. The address itself, in fact, subtly called for Mubarak’s overthrow and a regional revolution. That indeed followed, along with total chaos.

Obama was deeply disturbed when subsequently former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi – backed by the Muslim Brotherhood – was deposed by Egypt’s current president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. He had the grassroots support of millions of citizens who were sick of radical Islamic rule over Egypt and the seizure of their parliament by the Muslim Brotherhood.

But Obama showed his pique by continuing — illegally — to withhold the shipment of Apache attack helicopters long promised to America’s non-NATO ally to fight Islamist terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula. That, even after sending Secretary of State John Kerry a few months ago to make his grand statement in Cairo, announcing the delivery of the helicopters, “soon, very soon.”

Meanwhile, in Turkey, Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas supporter Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan likewise was not happy with events in Egypt. Erdogan has long been a fierce critic of his country’s former ally, Israel, over its dealings with Hamas.

This week Erdogan’s government allegedly has decided to support another effort by the terrorist-linked IHH organization to send a flotilla to again violate Israel’s maritime borders and breach her blockade of Gaza – even during wartime. Is it true? The Jewish Press has been unable to obtain any direct confirmation of the report.

But a plethora of media reports indicate the IHH intends to send a convoy to Gaza with “humanitarian aid” for Gaza residents. But Gaza residents are receiving plenty of supplies via the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and other international aid organizations, whose deliveries regularly travel into the region overland via the Erez Crossing.

In 2010, the Mavi Marmara ship sent by the IHH organization ignored instructions from the Israeli navy and refused to change course and head for Ashdod port. When Israeli commandos boarded to redirect the ship, they were attacked by armed terror activists wielding iron bars, knives and other weapons; several nearly died and more were badly injured.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ambassador-michael-oren-warns-obama-is-legitimizing-hamas/2014/07/28/

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