Powered by WebAds

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Michael Oren appointed ambassador to the US

Shavua tov - a good week to everyone.

Michael Oren has been appointed as Israel's ambassador to the United States.
Oren is admired by Netanyahu's staff for his expertise on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and has also published numerous articles on Israeli foreign policy.

Currently a professor in the Jewish civilization program at Georgetown University, Oren has frequently served as an IDF spokesman dealing with the foreign media during recent military campaigns.

He appeared on international television during Operation Cast Lead in January while on winter break from Georgetown.
I'm sure that will thrill all the bureaucrats in the foreign ministry who complain about all the 'plum' ambassadorships going to people who are not bureaucrats from the foreign ministry.

More on Oren here. No, I'm not thrilled either.


At 10:24 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have to disagree that Oren is a bad choice. I have read several of his works, and find him to be a deeply thoughtful man, able to grasp deeper meaning. He may personally favor disengagement, and withdrawl, but he represents the government of Bibi. Which I am pretty sure does not represent this.

That is, he may serve as a way to allow the current US administration to vent their anger at Israel, while disarming them while personally agreeing with them, then explaining with great credibility, the position of the Israeli government.

That he is a fluent english speaker, understands the idiom and use of the language, is respected and articulate, is a strong positive for Israel.

Especially considering whom else they could have hired for this task.

I don't think Dr. Oren aspires to higher Israeli office. So he isn't necessarily looking at this as a launching pad to the PM office. Which means he will likely do a better job than a real left-winger, who would work at counter-purposes to Israeli interests, in order to serve their own political ambitions.

I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

He should be fine, and do a good job of representing Israel and Israeli interests to the US.

At 10:26 PM, Blogger LB said...

Carl - With regards to his future performance as ambassador - why do you think is bad? I'm really not sure yet.

At 2:55 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

As a Christian Zionist, this is TERRIBLE ! His rep's been riding on his Six Day War book (which is great), but he's clueless. Remember, he's the guy who thought Bush was such a good friend of Israel. If he has any fear of God, understanding of the Bible or of who really supports Israel & who doesn't, I'm not seeing it -- & I read his books. Grrrrrr. Very bad ..horrific...mistake.

At 5:40 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The jury is still out on him. I share Carl's reservations but we should see what kind of ambassador Michael Oren will be in Washington before we jump to conclusions.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Kranky and LB (especially),

Read the post I linked with the last link. It explains why Oren is not a great choice. Basically, he's one of the last people in Israel who favors 'unilateral withdrawal.' He still thinks expelling all the Jews from Gaza in 2005 was the right move - and he would repeat it NOW in Judea and Samaria.

Dore Gold would have been a much better choice. He's served there before, he's equally articulate and knowledgeable and he's a hell of a lot more experienced.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger LB said...

Carl - I'm aware of his position regarding unilateral withdrawals. My question is more, then - how would that affect his performance as ambassador?

An ambassador, generally, is not about expressing one's own opinions - and it is arguably the only position that IS about getting along with the American administration (an area in which Dore Gold might have some difficulty).

I'm not saying he'll be good, either, just that I really don't know yet. If all he does is represent Israel's position (at whatever time he represent it...) then I'd say he's good - he's an excellent speaker, and he speaks in terms that Americans like. If he represent his own position, well, then, you're right.

At 7:52 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Even if you formally represent the government's position, it's hard for your own views not to shine through (even lawyers sometimes get caught on that).

At 7:54 AM, Blogger LB said...

Carl, you're right. I think the question to be asked, then, is - how would the ambassador's own views actually affect Israel?


Post a Comment

<< Home