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michael oren

  • '60 Minutes' report on Palestinian Christians gets it wrong

    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…

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  • WATCH: Raw footage of 60 Minutes interview with Michael Oren

    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.

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  • Israel's not-so-stellar record on treatment of Christians

    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…

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  • Israeli response to fly-in proves West Bank is the Palestinians' prison

    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…

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  • Amb. Oren concedes Israel's interference in U.S. politics

    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…

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  • Deputy Speaker Tibi launches complaint against Amb. Oren

    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…

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  • Omissions, half-truths, lies: Ambassador Oren in Foreign Policy

    In a  piece recently published, Israel's Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren rejected claims regarding anti-democratic trends in his country, and compared the legal status of Palestinians in the West Bank to that of American citizens in Washington DC and the U.S. territories. A response. When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed Professor Michael Oren - a historian and researcher at the conservative Shalem institute, author of a popular book on the 1967 war - as his ambassador to Washington, he was probably hoping to capitalize on the latter's name-recognition and credibility, especially with the political establishment and the Jewish elites. And indeed,…

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  • Michael Oren returned from Tel Aviv, but saw nothing

    By Hagai El-Ad Israel's ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, tries hard to separate the Israeli social justice protests from the Arab Spring. He ends up sounding both out of date and out of touch. Israelis and Palestinians are again gradually engulfed in escalating violence. While hoping that the situation will not further escalate, Israel's social justice protests are faced with the challenge of not evaporating in the face of security challenges. Business is not as usual – and no one is pretending that it is. And yet, nor were the social justice protests an expression of "business as usual". So,…

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  • Adelson: Obama's moves liable to bring the destruction of Israel

    The gambling billionaire, who publishes the pro-Netanyahu "Israel Hayom" tabloid, said he objects to an agreement with any of the current Palestinian leaders Unlike the confrontation between the White House and Jerusalem over the settlements during the administration's first year, I think that the current rift has more to do with tones and personal mistrust than actual policy differences. More than anything, it seems that President Obama's Middle East speech was meant to help Israel avoid isolation at the UN, but Netanyahu overreacted, and later decided to play tough, mainly for political reasons. As I wrote yesterday, it worked out…

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  • J-street under attack - Birthright trip canceled

    J Street was in the headlines recently for two incidents that reporters are deeming to be indicative of the self-declared "pro-Israel pro-peace" lobby's inability to gain acceptance in the mainstream American Jewish establishment. The first incident was Congressman (Jewish and democratic) Gary Ackerman's public disassociation with J Street over its urging the US not to veto a UN security council resolution calling for a halt to settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The second was the announcement that a J Street U trip to Israel through Birthright was a no-go. J Street U, the student arm of J Street,…

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  • Israel redefines the definition of Chutzpah

    After failing to take an incentive package from the United States in exchange for a freeze on settlement activity, Israel is asking for the incentive package anyway. Israel was reportedly offered 20 advanced war planes from the United States in exchange for a settlement freeze which would lead the way to renewed peace talks. However, Israel refused the idea of freezing settlement construction and Bloomberg is reporting today that Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, is still expecting to receive the war planes. Bloomberg reports, It was clear from the beginning that the 20 we were purchasing would not be enough and…

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  • Israeli ambassador to the US asks for Jewish loyalty

    Binyamin Netanyahu has shown a marked preference for American Jews. Many of them have, over the years, worked for him. He even appointed some to high office: Stanley Fischer as Director of the Bank of Israel, Michael Oren as ambassador to the US. It is possible there were not worthy of either office, but I doubt it. Of the two, Oren’s case is more problematic. He has given up his American citizenship in order to serve as ambassador – an act which he publicly noted caused him much grief – but the situation where an ambassador serves in a country…

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  • Preparing public opinion for ethnic cleansing

    Not too long ago, Peter Beinart chastised the American-Jewish establishment for stretching the ostensible bond between liberal values and Zionism ever-closer to breaking point, and serving as enablers for ultra-right trends that would eventually destroy Israel as a democratic state. In particular, Beinart slammed the Jewish leadership's attempts to smooth out the image of Avigdor Lieberman: After Israel’s elections last February, for instance, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice-chairman of the Presidents’ Conference, explained that Avigdor Lieberman’s agenda was “far more moderate than the media has presented it.” Insisting that Lieberman bears no general animus toward Israeli Arabs, Abraham Foxman, national director of…

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