CMEP Bulletin: Former Israeli Ambassador Criticizes Obama

CMEP Bulletin: Former Israeli Ambassador Criticizes Obama

In a Tuesday Wall Street Journal (WSJ) op-ed, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren wrote that since entering office US President Barak Obama has posed a “fundamental challenge” to Israel by “abandoning two core principles of Israel’s alliance with America” in a Tuesday Wall Street Journal (WSJ) op-ed. Oren defined the two core principles as 1. “No daylight” — the US and Israel could “always disagree but never openly” — and 2. “No surprises.”

In response to questions about the article US State Department spokesman John Kirby said, “The Secretary’s view is that [Oren’s] story conveys his perspective… now as a politician who’s promoting a book. Mr. Oren had limited visibility into many of the private discussions and deliberations that he describes. And it’s the Secretary’s view that [Oren’s] account, particularly 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. This is an important relationship, the relationship between the U.S. and Israel, and the bonds are unbreakable, and it’s more important that we move forward in a constructive way than dwell on these accusations, false as they may be.”

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro also was critical of Oren’s characterizations of the US-Israel relationship, labeling Oren’s account an “imaginary version” of events. When asked during an interview with Israeli Army Radio how he would describe the relation, Shapiro responded that it is “effective, and serving the interests of both countries, and even more than that – close.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused a request by Ambassador Shapiro to denounce Oren’s remarks in a public statement. However, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said, “Between the two countries there exist fundamental disagreements and we stand by our positions, but the United States was and remains our greatest friend and gives crucial assistance to the economy, security and strength of Israel.”

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