Friday, July 23, 2010

Moshe Arens Asked; Moshe Arens Replies

Moshe Arens was addressed regarding a comment on his Haaretz op-ed:-

I read a (critical) talkbacker's comment in Haaretz on this topic that way back then it was Misha that raised up Bibi from store mgr. to deputy ambassador as a result of Misha's friendship with Bibi's father. Would Misha care to comment?

The response:

I was appointed ambassador in Washington in 1982, five years after the Likud came to power, a period during which two ambassadors identified with the Labor Party - Simha Dinitz and Eppie Evron - continued to represent Israel in Washington. In those days it was the ambassador's prerogative to choose the DCM (#2). I first offered the job to Zvi Rafiah, a Labor member or sympathizer, but he having just left the foreign service, turned me down.

Then I turned to Bibi, not because he was the son of a friend of mine, but because I had seen him in action organizing an international conference on terrorism in Jerusalem, to which he managed to bring a number of high-ranking Americans, including George Bush Sr. He turned out to be an excellent DCM, and thereafter an excellent ambassador to the UN.

I certainly did not offer him the position in an attempt to build up a personal following for myself in Likud - he was not a member of Likud at the time.

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