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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Oren’

Will DNC Chair Be Dumped?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The Weekly Standard is already advancing the speculation that Debbie Wasserman Schultz be let go from her post as DNC chair following her blatant lie regarding Republicans, Israel, and Israel’s ambassador Michael Oren.

In a TV appearance Tuesday night, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was asked about the Michael Oren email. But instead of acknowledging her misstatement, the DNC chair attacked the reporter, Philip Klein, who quoted her.

“I didn’t say he said that,” Wasserman Schultz said. “And unfortunately, that comment was reported by a conservative newspaper. It’s not surprising they would deliberately misquote me. What I always say is that unfortunately the Republicans have made Israel a political football, which is dangerous for Israel. And Ambassador Oren has said that we can’t ever suggest that there is any daylight between the two parties on Israel because there isn’t. And that that’s harmful to Israel. That’s what I said, and that is accurate.”

But Klein fired back.  Not only did he state that “Debbie Wasserman Schultz lied on national TV,” and accuse her of smearing the good name of an honest reporter in order to achieve her goals, but posted the audio recording of her statements online, so that readers could judge for themselves whether Schultz made the statement about Oren.  The clip was uploaded to Youtube, and posted below.

Israel’s Ambassador: DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Lied

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Israel’s U.S. ambassador Michael Oren denied the claim made by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, that he had told her that what the Republican party was doing was “dangerous for Israel.”

Back in August, Hadassah Magazine interviewed Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and one of their question was: “Why did you call on both parties to refrain from challenging each other over support for Israel?”

“What the Republicans are doing is dangerous,” answered the DNC chair. “They are using Israel as a political football.… Israel’s ambassador [to the United States], Michael Oren, has said this. If there is any perception of daylight between the parties on support for Israel, that strengthens Israel’s enemies. The president rejects what some Republican candidates have been saying, that America should review all its foreign aid commitments from zero, making each country justify the support it receives.”

Then, in a speech at the Democratic Convention yesterday, Debbie Wasserman Schultz declared, “We know, and I’ve heard no less than Ambassador Michael Oren say this, that what the Republicans are doing is dangerous for Israel.”

In an emailed statement, Ambassador Oren stated “I categorically deny that I ever characterized Republican policies as harmful to Israel. Bipartisan support is a paramount national interest for Israel, and we have great friends on both sides of the aisle.”

According to Philip Klein of the Beltway Confidential, the Florida congresswoman made the charge at a training session for Jewish Democrats, aimed at teaching Jewish Democrats how to convince their fellow Jews to vote for Obama.

As she was wrapping up her remarks, Klein reports, she claimed that, “We know, and I’ve heard no less than Ambassador Michael Oren say this, that what the Republicans are doing is dangerous for Israel.”

It could be that she didn’t actually mean that Oren had told this to her directly – but there’s no doubt that the impression her crew of volunteers walked away with was: Oren told Debbie the Republicans are dangerous to Israel.

He says he never did. She lied, basically using Israel to bash the Republicans.

Amb. Michael Oren to Pro-Israel Student Advocates: No Substitute for Knowledge and Experience

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Ambassador Michael Oren has been on the move lately, visiting college campuses and communities in California, Michigan, Chicago, and Boston.

Israel Campus Beat caught up with him last week at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, after he addressed a crowd of students and community members.

The New Jersey native, who earned degrees from Princeton and Columbia and has served in faculty positions at Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, the Hebrew University, and Tel Aviv University, has served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States in May 2009. As the author of two best-selling books and a former contributing editor of The New Republic and the Shalem Center’s quarterly journal, Azure, Oren has a long history in academics and prose, and a profound ability to connect with his audience.

During a private reception last week at GW’s Elliot School of International Affairs, he offered advice to pro-Israel student activists and advocates.

“You need to know your subject, back and forth,” he said. “There is no substitute for knowing the history and knowing the current affairs.”

There is no substitute for experience, he added, even those that are difficult.

“Getting the stuffing knocked out of you sometimes is a very educational experience and I’ve been through it all,” he said. “Today, I get to a point where it is very, very rare where I will get a question, even a very difficult question that I haven’t received many times before. Being able to have the information at your fingertips is indispensable.”

He stressed the importance of treating every question with respect, noting that there is only one question that he refuses to respect.

“I won’t respect any question that draws a comparison between Israel and the Nazis,” he said. “I won’t respond to that, at least not respectfully.”

Oren demonstrated his knack for staying calm when a dozen George Washington University students left his event, minutes in, carrying signs that said “Oren Supports Colonialism.” Oren stood at the podium and urged those leaving to stay and hear what he had to say.

“I’ve been through that a lot,” he said. “You don’t have to lose your cool.”

The title of Oren’s presentation at GW was “Ultimate Allies: Israel and the United States,” and he discussed the strong connection between the two countries.

“We agree on the end game. We agree on the strategy. Strategy is creation of two states for two peoples, the nation state of the Jewish people called Israel, the nation state of the Palestinian people called Palestine living side by side in mutual security and mutual recognition and peace. Those are our common goals,” he said, explaining that although Israel and the U.S. sometimes disagree on certain tactical subjects, both countries are determined to prevent a nuclear capable Iran.

“Historically, because of the deep roots, because of the democratic connection, because of our great military alliance and growing commercial relationship, I say that Israel is not just an ally of America, not even a great ally of America,” he said. “Israel is America’s ultimate ally.”

Visit http://israelcampusbeat.org for the latest Israel trends and events on campus.

Israel is Theme of Gay Conference

Monday, May 7th, 2012

A major annual US gay conference will feature Israel and its gay community this year.

The Equality Forum’s four-day event in Philadelphia, ending Sunday, featured Israeli gay performers, activists, and Israeli ambassador Michael Oren.  Each year, the conference chooses another country as its theme.

Gaycities.com rated Israel the top Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual travel destination of 2011.

Report: House Armed Services Committee Proposes Additional $680 Million for Iron Dome

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

The Washington Post quoted a Republican congressional aide speaking on condition of anonymity as saying that the House Armed Services Committee will propose an increase of $680 million in funding for Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system when it convenes to formulate the 2013 fiscal year’s defense budget.

The $680 million would be in addition to the special budgetary request of $205 million granted in 2011 by the Obama administration and Congress. The aide said the amount was based on the system’s present capabilities, as well as those of Hamas and Hizbollah.

The Republican-controlled panel’s proposal is seen as an election-year challenge to President Obama to reveal the true extent of his dedication to Israel’s security. Although the Pentagon last month said it was planning to ask Congress to provide additional funds for the missile defense system, the panel’s proposal will force the Obama administration to determine and divulge the level of financial support it believes the Iron Dome warrants.

At the time, the Pentagon did not go into specifics and released a statement saying that “[t]he Department of Defense has been in conversations with the Government of Israel about U.S. support for the acquisition of additional Iron Dome systems and intends to request an appropriate level of funding from Congress to support such acquisitions based on Israeli requirements and production capacity.”

The cost of one Iron Dome battery is $50 million, while each missile costs over $60,000. There are currently four operational and actively deployed Iron Dome batteries, three in the south of Israel and one in the central region. Last month, Ambassador to the US Michael Oren wrote an article  in which he stated that “at least ten Iron Dome systems will be necessary in order to defend the whole country.”

 

 

Ranking US Congressman Introduces Legislation Offering Further Assistance on Iron Dome

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Last week, Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the Iron Dome Support Act (IDSA), which authorizes and encourages President Obama to provide funds for the “procurement, maintenance and sustainment” of more of the anti-missile defense systems, should the Israeli government request it. It has received  bi-partisan support, having been co-sponsored by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), along with Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.), and David Cicilline (D-R.I.).

The IDSA seeks to secure financing of 10 more Iron Dome batteries, but does not delve into figures. The cost of one Iron Dome battery is $50 million, while each missile costs between $70,000-$100,000. Israel’s fourth iron dome is expected to become operational next week.

Berman said in a statement that “Israel must have the ability to defend itself from rocket and missile attacks, and the United States will continue to stand by our strong ally if called upon in times of need.” He added that during this most recent round of hostilities “the Iron Dome saved innocent lives and prevented an escalation of hostilities and a full-blown crisis.”

The flurry of activity was actually inspired by an op-ed on the Politico website by Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, in which he wrote that “at least ten Iron Dome systems will be necessary in order to defend the whole country – for Israel, and for America as well, an investment in Iron Dome is an investment in diplomacy that helps create a conditions for peace.”

Soon after reading the op-ed on Wednesday, Reps. Berman and Ros-Lehtinen introduced the IDSA.

During the 2011 fiscal year, Congress approved $205 million in funding for the anti-missile system.

US OKs Unprecedented Amount for Israeli Missile Defense

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

The US House and Senate committee on Appropriations has approved a budget doubling aid to Israel for the David’s Sling and Arrow 3 anti-ballistic medium-to-long range air defense systems.

In the year 2012, an unprecedented $235.7 million will be earmarked for Israeli defense against missile attacks – the original aid request by President Obama’s administration was just $106.1 million.  The long-range Arrow 3 system and its development were set aside $61 million, with the medium-to-long range David’s Sling receiving $69 million.  The total defense allocation for Israel increased by $25 million in 2012, even as budget cuts swept US agencies, including the Pentagon.

“The conferees find the [Obama administration's] request insufficient and provide an additional $129,600,000 to address Israel’s security requirements,” legislators asserted in a committee report.

In the months preceding the budget allocation, Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren and Counselor for Congressional affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington Aviv Ezra held several talks with lawmakers regarding Israeli security and US interests in the Middle East.

Commander of America’s Third Air Force, Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc arrived in Israel last week to prepare for a joint training exercise between the Israel Air Force and the US Army taking place in 2012.  During his visit, he also toured an Iron Dome missile defense battery and a combat laboratory.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-oks-unprecedented-amount-for-israeli-missile-defense/2011/12/23/

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