Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oren Criticized (Finally)

Although I have known Michael Oren for years and admire his intellect and academic achievements, I have made it clear that his politics are a bit problematic. He is not pro-Yesha in the basic sense.

I have commented on his ambassadorial appointment to Washington right from the outset (here and also here, for example) and found it not the smartest Netanyahu move.

Well, Caroline Glick, a long-time Bibi proponent, has seen the light (*). As she writes this past Friday in her column:

...Netanyahu must not become Obama’s spokesman. As part of his unsuccessful bid to convince Obama to change his policies towards Israel, Netanyahu and his advisers have gone on record praising Obama for his support for Israel. These statements have stymied attempts by Israel’s US supporters to pressure Obama to change those policies.

The Israeli official who has been most outspoken in his praise for Obama and his denial that Obama’s policies are hostile towards Israel has been Ambassador Michael Oren. Oren has repeatedly praised Obama for his supposedly firm support for Israel and commitment to Israel’s security ­ most recently in an appearance on Fox News on Wednesday. Moreover, according to eyewitness reports, in a recent closed-door meeting with American Jews, Oren criticized the Republican Party for attacking Obama for his animosity towards Israel.

This quite simply has to end. As foreign officials, Israeli diplomats should not be involved in US partisan politics. Not only should Israeli officials not give Obama undeserved praise, they should not give Republicans undeserved criticism...

Amen. Finally.

As usual with the right-wing nationalist camp, either they make very few appointments (a la Begin) or they make the wrong one (a la Netanyahu). We can't afford errors of judgment.

If Caroline has zeroed in on this, maybe someone in Bibi's bureau will begin to realize their mistakes.




Caroline informs me:

I have criticized Oren a number of times. I criticized his outreach to J Street and I think I criticized his appointment. I have also criticized Bibi a number of times.

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