Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren says Jesus would be considered a settler if he lived in Bethlehem today. Such talk obscures the nature of the settlement enterprise and slanders Jesus. Text and photos by Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren has been saying a lot of obnoxious things lately. His recent book angered Jewish-American journalists by twisting the truth and burning bridges with the liberal Zionist establishment. And while it’s clear that diplomacy is no longer Oren’s priority, he may have crossed the line from belligerence to blasphemy with his latest remarks.While preaching to the…Read More... | 3 Comments
Does the former Israeli ambassador really think that an imaginative psychoanalysis of Obama can explain away Netanyahu's annexationist policies? By Aviad Kleinberg Michael Oren blames President Barack Obama for ruining relations with Israel, after the latter broke two sacrosanct rules that Oren himself came up with: that the United States and Israel should not have public disagreements, and that no steps should be taken to publicly embarrass the other side. [tmwinpost] Oren is aware, of course, of the fact that successive Israeli governments (read: Netanyahu's governments) have openly opposed U.S. policy (for instance vis-a-vis the Iranian nuclear deal), that every so often those…Read More... | 26 Comments
The esteemed historian, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and CNN commentator is now back in Israel running for public office, and he has a plan. The problem is it doesn't align with the facts. By Shemuel Meir It turns out that "spin" isn't exclusively in the Israel's prime minister’s domain. Michael Oren, Israel's former ambassador to Washington and current diplomatic poster boy for Moshe Kahlon's "Kulanu" party, recently laid out the nascent party's policies vis-a-vis the core issues of the Palestinian conflict, and how to put an end to the crisis between Israel and the U.S. According to Oren…Read More... | 5 Comments
A top-six list of the various ways Israeli officials have reinvented definitions -- and types -- of terrorism. Likud MK Miri Regev had a fairly successful career as a wordsmith back when she was the IDF Spokesperson -- before becoming even better known for calling African asylum seekers “a cancer in Israel’s body.” She later apologized to cancer victims for the analogy. On Wednesday, Regev made a new addition to the list of insane Israeli uses of language -- by herself and countless other politicians and officials -- by inventing new types of terrorism. Put simply, most terrorism involves explosions or shooting.…Read More... | 16 Comments
Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren recently boasted about Israel's record on gay rights - however the LGBT community in Jerusalem has faced repeated intolerance and push back from the government. A proposal to be presented this Sunday to extend protection from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation will be the real test of its commitment to gay rights. By Elinor Sidi "In Israel, LGBT rights is not an issue that divides us, it is a vision that unites us," said Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, in Philadelphia two weeks ago. In his keynote, Oren took…Read More... | 3 Comments
Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren claims "Israel fought for gay rights even before 1967." Problem is, homosexuality was illegal until 1988. Michael Oren, the American Jew turned Israeli ambassador to the US, is apparently not content with embarrassing himself about Israel's record regarding its Christian citizens. In an interview with the Philadelphia newspaper Metro, Oren said that "Israel was fighting for gay rights before the 1967 war. Even when terrorists were blowing up our buses and cafes, there was equality for gays." Leaving aside the second and particularly ignorant part of this statement – what the hell is…Read More... | 8 Comments
Ambassador Michael Oren insists that in all the Middle East, Christians have it the best in Israel, but a history of dispossession paints a more complex picture. The writer asserts Palestinian Christians are emigrating due to Israel's discriminatory policies, and calls attention to upcoming resolutions by churches in the United States to divest from Israeli companies that profit from the occupation. By Philip Farah | Originally published in the Huffington Post on May 1, 2012 In a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren claimed that Christians in Israel are better off than their brethren anywhere else in…Read More... | 16 Comments
Palestinian Christians are no different than other Palestinians. We all suffer the same. There have already been a number of articles written in response to CBS’s 60 Minutes report about Christians in the Holy Land. The sexy story in all this appears to be Michael Oren’s interview with Bob Simon of 60 Minutes, and the attempt by Israel, its embassy in the United States and syndicate of lobbying groups to prevent the report in some capacity from airing. The real story told in this piece has been to some degree overshadowed by the Michael Oren story, but also lacks appeal…Read More... | 27 Comments
After watching the 60 Minutes interview with Michael Oren, I felt like puking. If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is. And if you only have a minute, just watch this short segment, where Oren looks Bob Simon straight in the eye with a look that could make your blood curl, and tells him "there's a first time for everything, Bob." Apparently, Oren took it even further during the interview. After much persuading, I got Simon to give me the unedited segment of him grilling the Israeli ambassador in D.C. You gotta see it to believe it.Read More... | 9 Comments
Much has been made of the inept appearance of Michael Oren – American Jew turned Israeli ambassador to the United States - on 60 Minutes, in which he admitted that from time to time he calls up senior TV brass to make certain they censor the work of their writers and editors. This morning, Haaretz reported (Hebrew) that the Prime Minister's Office was intimately in the loop. Why? Because Oren claimed the show was a "potential strategic terrorist attack" against Israel's image in the US. Lo and behold: at the same time Oren was biting his nails, an American Hasbara…Read More... | 56 Comments
Advocates for Israel often claim that the Palestinians run their own life. Yet again and again it appears that the West Bank has become their prison. Last week I posted here a criticism of Ambassador Michal Oren's Foreign Policy piece, titled "Israel's Resilient Democracy." One of Ambassador Oren's claims was that the fact that Palestinians in the West Bank are deprived of voting rights is not enough to question the nature of Israel as a democracy. The existence of partially democratic enclaves within a democratic system does not necessarily discredit it. Residents of Washington, D.C., are taxed without representation, while…Read More... | 64 Comments
Ambassador Oren is prolific these days. In a letter to the editor of the New York Times published on April 11, he addresses a piece that appeared a few days earlier, entitled "A friendship dating to 1976 resonates in 2012", describing the longtime friendship between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who worked together in Boston in the 1970's. Oren takes issue with the article's "insinuation" that Israel interferes in American politics and stresses its appreciation of "wide bipartisan support." But the article makes no such insinuation, and it is common knowledge that Netanyahu is well-aligned with…Read More... | 12 Comments
In his Foreign Policy piece, Israel's ambassador to Washington repeated the false claim that MK Tibi expressed support for suicide attacks. Tibi has now sent an official letter to the Foreign Ministry, demanding a retraction. Of all the factual errors, omissions and half-truths in Ambassador Michael Oren's piece at Foreign Policy, titled "Israel’s Resilient Democracy," perhaps the most troubling was this paragraph, which regurgitates a long-debunked lie about the Deputy Speaker of Oren's own parliament, MK Ahmad Tibi (Raam-Taal / United Arab List): ...In fact, Israel has tolerated acts that would be deemed treasonous in virtually any other democracy. Ahmed…Read More... | 14 Comments
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Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
The Beaten Path
Travel writer and tour guide Yuval Ben-Ami deconstructs the Holy Land's tourist trail.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
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