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February 7, 2016 / 28 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Michael Oren’

Former Ambassador to US MK Michael Oren: Don’t Ban Trump

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and now a Knesset Member, said Wednesday that Israel should not boycott or ban Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Trump is scheduled to visit Israel later this month and meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu December 28.

MK Oren, of the Kulanu party, told Maariv today:

Israel must not let itself be dragged into the U.S. presidential political race, but on the other hand, it cannot remain quiet when someone stains an entire community because of their religious beliefs.

We must host the presidential candidate [Trump] as if what he said never was spoken, but on the other hand we must express our reservations on his harmful remarks.

Several Opposition MKs have called on Prime Minister Netanyahu not to meet with him, and some even want him banned from stepping foot in Israel.

They were reacting to Trump’s controversial speech this in which he said that the United States should block Muslim immigrants until the government “can figure out what is going on,” referring to the massacre at San Bernardino two weeks ago.

White House Invites Arab MK Who Blames ‘Occupation’ for Terror

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

President Barack Obama is introducing anti-Zionist values into the White House. After J Street and “Breaking the Silence,” next in line is Knesset Arab Knesset Member Ayman Odeh, who blames Israel for Arab terror.

One week after Knesset Member Michael Oren was falsely quoted as saying that the president is bringing “radical Muslim values” into 1600 Pennsylvania, it turns out that he definitely is opening its doors to the Arab MK who thinks that Muslim terror against Jews is the fault of the “occupation.”

Even more absurd is that Odeh is a Christian, but that has not stopped him from embracing his fellow Muslim MKs who call the Israeli government “Nazi” and openly campaign for the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

MK Odeh said on Israel radio two months ago:

I always blame the occupation for being guilty. I cannot tell the nation how to struggle, where and at which target to throw the rock.

Odeh is the chairman of the Joint Arab List, and told Yediot Acharonot that he will talk to senior White House and State Dept. officials on “issues that matter to Israel’s Arab Citizens [and] are hardly represented in the international conversation.”

He also will meet with the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the United Nations and will give interviews to all of the “correct” media outlets, such as The New York Times, the Nation, Huffington Post and the Washington Post. There is no indication that he will meet with President Obama.

Odeh also will speak with Jewish leaders, all of them from the Reform movement that decries the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria and for which President Obama has rolled out the red carpet.

The Obama administration will describe Odeh as the leader of Israeli Arabs, but the truth is that he is not.

The JewishPress.com reported here last month:

A special survey conducted for Channel 2… reveals…54% of Israeli Arab respondents believe that the Arab MKs do not represent them, 25% say that Arab MKs represent them fairly well, and only a minority of 16% say that they represent them ‘very much.’

However, most of these surveyed criticized comments by Nazareth’s Arab Mayor Ali Salem that Odeh and his cohorts have been “ruining” the city by inciting violence and demonstrating in the city against Israel.

Salem said in October:

Every Saturday we get our 20 thousand guests—Jews, tourists and Israelis from across the country. This Saturday we barely reached 1,000 people from out of town.

For three days we had complete quiet. No politicians arrived and they didn’t riot or strike or demonstrate…. Businessmen I spoke to today were pleased, not because no one visited them for a month, but because they manage to rebuild the ruins they (the politicians) left us in the city.

On the eve of Odeh’s departure to Washington, he told Yediot:

Less than a month after Netanyahu’s visit to the US and his half-apology, I go so that I may tell the hard truth about him and the government in Israel, which rose to power through racist incitement against Arab citizens.”

 

A Misquoted MK Michael Oren Analyzes President Obama

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

The original article has been removed and will be updated on Sunday, along with important clarifications requested by MK Michael Oren regarding parts of the interview.

MK Michael Oren spoke Saturday morning at a cultural event in Be’er Sheva, addressing Israel—US relations and President Obama’s worldview.

The spokesman for the Beersheba municipality has apologized for misquoting Mk Michael Oren, clarifying that Oren did not say that Obama introduced “radical Muslim values into the White House.”

MK Oren wants to make absolutely clear that he was not attacking President Obama in any way during the discussion, and he was presenting a “controlled and responsible analysis.”

Oren adds that he “praises the close security cooperation between Israel and the US under President Obama.”

Oren did say, “It’s the president’s right to bring into the White House a different worldview that’s unlike his predecessors’” and “It is our responsibility to recognize this fact and to act accordingly.”

During the discussion, Oren mentioned Obama’s childhood as well as influences in college as helping shape the President’s worldview.

ADL’s Foxman Slams Amb. Oren for ‘Insensitivity’ to Barack Obama

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

And the fallout continues from former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren’s comments about and analysis of U.S. President Barack Obama.

In a furious press release issued during the waning minutes of his reign, national director of the Anti-Defamation League Abe Foxman slammed Oren for expressing his views about U.S. President Barack Obama.

In the ADL press release Foxman singles out Oren’s essay in Foreign Policy Magazine, and does not mention the better known Wall Street Journal op-ed or even his forthcoming book.

You see, in Foreign Policy, Oren explains, in great detail, what he saw as Obama’s dramatic change with his predecessors regarding the players in the Middle East. As Oren plainly states it, one had only to look very carefully – and keep referring back – to President Obama’s speech in Cairo in July, 2009. The Cairo speech was Obama’s first major foreign policy address. And Oren studied it, and referred others to it, often. The White House itself referred to the speech as “President Obama Speaks to the Muslim World,” according to Oren.

The Foreign Policy essay is an important one in many ways, yet Foxman’s criticism is hard to square with what Oren actually wrote.

For Foxman and the ADL claim that Oren “revived the meme of the president’s ‘Muslim Heritage’ to make the case that American foreign policy in the Middle East is primarily being promoted and dictated by the president’s early upbringing in the Muslim faith and in Muslim traditions.”

But Foxman had to sift through an 18 paragraph essay and focus on only one paragraph, close to the end, as the source of his criticism. In that one – the 13th paragraph – Oren mentions Obama’s Muslim father and step-father and his upbringing in largely Islamic Indonesia, and of Obama’s reminiscences of idyllic Kenyan villages. Oren draws on Obama’s own autobiography, Dreams From My Father, as the basis for his speculation.

This is the one paragraph, that drew the ire of Foxman:

In addition to its academic and international affairs origins, Obama’s attitudes toward Islam clearly stem from his personal interactions with Muslims. These were described in depth in his candid memoir, Dreams from My Father, published 13 years before his election as president. Obama wrote passionately of the Kenyan villages where, after many years of dislocation, he felt most at home and of his childhood experiences in Indonesia. I could imagine how a child raised by a Christian mother might see himself as a natural bridge between her two Muslim husbands. I could also speculate how that child’s abandonment by those men could lead him, many years later, to seek acceptance by their co-religionists.

But by the 13th paragraph, Oren had already mentioned Obama’s worldview being developed at the academic institutions he attended, and in particular by the enormous influence Columbia University’s Professor Edward Said’s book Orientalism had on Obama’s generation of university students and professors.

Oren’s article is titled, “How Obama Opened His Heart to the Muslim World,” and the subheadline reads: “And got it stomped on. Israel’s former ambassador to the United States on the president’s naiveté as peacemaker, blinders to terrorism, and alienation of allies.” This is what the essay is about. It is not an effort at armchair psychoanalysis. Nor is it, as Foxman suggests, an effort to explain Obama’s orientation towards the Muslim world as due to his yearning for a Muslim father who dropped out of his life.

After recognizing that it is appropriate to criticize the policies of this administration, Foxman wrote:

Ambassador Oren’s essay, however, veers into the realm of conspiracy theories, and with an element of amateur psychoanalysis he links U.S. policies in the Middle East to the president’s personal history of having a Muslim father. Then, taking it a step further by suggesting this “worldview” of Muslims and Islam has driven the president to embrace the Muslim world at the expense of both Israel and U.S. national security interests. This results in borderline stereotyping and insensitivity.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-saved-obamas-neck-on-assads-chemical-weapons/2015/06/18/

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