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Will Michael Oren Change the Jewish Vote?

Michael Oren with Roger. Michael Oren with Roger.

Writing about books that haven't come out yet that no one, including me, has read seems  to have become fashionable of late.  Peter Schweizer's book on the Clinton Cash got considerable (justifiable, as it turned out) buzz before it appeared.  Getting  somewhat less buzz, but nonetheless enough to be making waves is the forthcoming June 23 release of prize-winning historian Michael B. Oren's account of his days as Israel's ambassador to the U.S. during Obama's first term.

Here's the nub of it from the Jerusalem Post:

President Barack Obama endorsed the Palestinian position on the 1967 lines in 2011 and by so doing altered more than 40 years of American policy without prior consultation with Israel, former ambassador to the US Michael Oren writes in a book to be published later this month.

Oren, in an account of the book that appeared Friday in The New York Jewish Week, wrote that the Prime Minister’s Office was outraged at the move, and instructed him to call congressional leaders.

“Israel felt abandoned, I was to say. And that is no way to treat an ally,” he wrote.

According to the Jewish Week report, the book, titled Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israel Divide, is a first-hand account of “mistrust, mistakes and missed opportunities” that Oren saw as ambassador from 2009 to 2013, with “Obama in the role of bully in chief.”

In the book he reportedly describes how Israel was continuously blamed for lack of progress on the diplomatic front, while the Palestinians were given a free pass.

John Podhoretz has more at the New York Post:

What makes the details especially credible is that Oren is no flame-breathing Israeli right-winger but very much (and at times distressingly) an Establishment creature and one, moreover, who makes it clear he drank the Obama hope-and-change Kool-Aid in 2008. (Indeed, he now serves in Israel’s Knesset not as a member of Bibi Netanyahu’s Likud but of the new centrist Kulanu party.)

On major matters, the administration seemed to hold Israel accountable for problems it had nothing to do with.


There was and is no good way to explain the views of the man in the White House on this matter except to use ones Oren never uses but implies throughout:

For ideological reasons, Obama doesn’t like the Israel that exists. Period.

Obama doesn't like the Israel that exists.  Well, that's not a shocking conclusion, given his behavior.  (Where is that Rashid Khalidi tape anyway?) But that such a conclusion could emanate, even indirectly, from a report by Michael Oren should shake a lot of people.  I have interviewed Oren twice myself and can attest this is a stand-up guy and one serious diplomat, not prone to exaggeration.  He is also a first-class historian.  His book Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East is an extraordinary and riveting piece of history.  You should read it if you haven't.