Israel Musings July 14, 2013: Michael Oren resigns as Israeli Ambassador to the United States



Michael Oren resigns as Israeli Ambassador to the United States

By Bonnie K. Goodman

On Friday, July 5, Michael Oren announced that after four years he was resigning as the Israeli Ambassador to the United States. Oren however, will remain as the envoy until the fall. Even before Oren’s resignation there were…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 11, 2013: Michael Oren: US President Barack Obama is ‘true friend’ of Israel



Oren: Obama is ‘true friend’ of Israel

Source: JTA, 7-11-13

Michael Oren, Israel’s departing ambassador to the United States, said that President Obama is “a true friend” of Israel and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “committed to peace.” More ▸

Israel Political Brief July 5, 2013: Israel’s U.S. Ambassador Michael Oren to leave post



Israel’s U.S. envoy Michael Oren to leave post

Source: JTA, 7-5-13

Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to Washington, announced that he will be leaving his post this fall….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief March 3, 2013: Michael Oren opens AIPAC: Netanyahu has taken risks for peace, Palestinians must too



Oren opens AIPAC: Netanyahu has taken risks for peace, Palestinians must too

Source: Haaretz, 3-3-13

Ex-U.S. diplomats Dennis Ross, Elliot Abrams also speak at opening session of AIPAC conference in Washington; On Obama’s planned Israel visit, Abrams says president needs to convince Israelis he has undergone ‘kishke transplant.’

People arrive to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual policy conferenc

People arrive to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual policy conference in Washington on March 3, 2013. Photo by AFP

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren opened AIPAC’s 2013 Policy Conference on Sunday, telling delegates that the Palestinians must follow Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lead and take risks for peace…..READ MORE

Israel Political Brief March 3, 2013: Michael Oren at AIPAC forum makes appeal for pro-Israel outreach



Oren at AIPAC forum makes appeal for pro-Israel outreach

Source: JTA, 3-3-13

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, opened the annual AIPAC policy conference with an appeal for pro-Israel outreach to African-Americans, Latinos and Muslims….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief March 3, 2013: AIPAC policy conference opens



AIPAC policy conference opens

Source: Washington Post (blog) , 3-3-13

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) began its annual policy conference this morning with an appearance by Israel’s ambassador, Michael Oren, and a panel with former Middle East adviser Dennis Ross and former deputy national security….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief December 28, 2012: Embassy denies Ron Dermer as envoy report



Embassy denies Ron Dermer as envoy report

Source: JTA, 12-28-12

The Israeli Embassy in Washington described as baseless an Israeli newspaper report that Ron Dermer, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu, is set to replace Michael Oren as Israel’s ambassador to the United States….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 6, 2012: Michael Oren: Israeli envoy calls for Israel support, respect for religious pluralism in AJC Speech



Israeli envoy Michael Oren calls for Israel support, respect for religious pluralism

Source: JTA, 5-6-12

In two speeches calling for increased Jewish unity, Israeli U.S. Ambassador Michal Oren urged stronger Diaspora support for Israel and greater Israeli respect for the diversity of Jewish life in America.

“Sometimes it seems that we, Israelis and American Jews, not only inhabit different countries but different universes, different realities,” Oren said in a May 4 speech in Washington to an American Jewish Committee gathering of about 400 young Jewish activists from around the world….

“Ironically, at a time when support for Israel in this country is at a near all-time high — indeed it’s one of the few truly bipartisan issues — we Jews seem increasingly divided,” Oren said in his Washington remarks. “Let me be clear: At stake is not merely Israel’s policies or rights of American Jews to criticize them. At stake is nothing less than the unity of a Jewish people.”…

“The pro-Israel person sees Israelis — left, right, religious, secular — not as some distant ‘other’ but as part of a whole — a dynamic, creative, rambunctious and precious whole,” Oren said in Washington. “The pro-Israel people are those who view even those who disagree with them politically as part of their people, as mishpochah,” or family….

“In Israel,” he said, “to be pro-‘the Jewish people’ is to guarantee respectful space for egalitarian prayer at the Kotel, to maintain a dialogue over the conversion issue, to enable open debate about those Israeli policies that impact all of world Jewry.”

Full Text Israel Political Brief April 19, 2012: Israel Ambassador to US Michael Oren’s Speech at Holocaust Days of Remembrance ceremony in US Capitol Rotunda



Remarks on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day
U.S. Capitol Rotunda

April 19, 2012

Source: Israel Embassy US, 4-18-12

The legacy of the Holocaust endows us with a double duty. First, we must not allow the memory of the six million to be trivialized. Human history is rife with atrocities, massacres, and wars, but nothing be equated with the enormity of the Holocaust. It is profoundly, unbearably,unique. But, paradoxically, our second duty is to prevent another Holocaust from occurring.

Imagine if one third of the Jewish people had not been annihilated. Imagine the doctors, the researchers, and the artists. Imagine the grandchildren and great-grandchildren flourishing throughout the world today. That is what we mean when we pledge ‘Never Again.’

Yes, we must cherish the fact that we live in a time when there is a proud and sovereign Jewish state. We must appreciate that state’s remarkable accomplishments in science, technology, and the arts. And we must value the historic alliance between Israel and the United States. Things are indeed different than they were eighty years ago.

Yet, at the same time, we must also acknowledge that evil did not appear suddenly in the 1930s and depart in 1945, never to return again. We must admit that the genocidal hatred of Jews that burned during those years remains a fierce andre-combustible scourge. We cannot ignore the similarities between the conditions that fostered the Holocaust and those we nowwitness daily.

Consider this: Eighty years ago, the world was scarcely in the mood for confrontation. People were weary from the devastating losses of a recent war. Economies were in crisis. Unemployment was high, foreclosures commonplace.  People were focusing inward, grappling with their own problems.

Meanwhile, a radical militant movement dreamt of regional and global domination. Headed by a Supreme Leader, the movement burnt books and crushed its democratic opponents. It amassed vast arsenals of advanced weaponry and invaded neighboring countries. The radicals played on their nation’s injured pride and stressed its racial superiority. The movement denigrated the Jewish people as a cancer that had to be cut out.

Today, too, there is such a radical regime in Iran. It also has a Supreme Leader. It also butchers its democratic opponents, supports terror,and seeks regional and global hegemony. The Iranian regime similarly espouses racism. It denies the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis while pledging to murder another six million—in Israel. And to achieve its abominable goals, Iran is developingmilitary nuclear capabilities and the missiles to deliver them.

Fortunately, today is not eighty years ago. Though tired of war and wrestling with economic difficulties, the United States is not watching passively. On the contrary, the White House and the Congress are leading the world in imposing harsh sanctions on Iran.

President Obama has said that the United States will not contain a nuclear-armed Iranand keeps all options on the table. And Israel, the President said, has the right to defend itself against any Middle Eastern threat.  Only Israel can decide how best to protect its citizens.

We must never equate the Holocaust with any other event but we also must never let it recur. Equipped with nuclear arms, Iran could blackmail the world—overrunning its major oilsources and endangering the lives of millions. We must not compare the Holocaust to any other situation but, at the same time, we cannot forget. We now have the opportunity—indeed, the duty—to confront Iranian leaders with the unambiguous choice never posed to the Nazis. The Iranian regime can either abandon its military nuclear program or face truly crippling sanctions and a credible military threat.

We have a dual duty and the theme of this year’s Days of Remembrance–the stories of rescuers–reminds us of that obligation. These inspiring stories are immortalized at Yad Veshem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and research center, which for fifty years has honored those righteous Gentiles who risked their lives–and often their families’ lives— to save Jews.  Those heroes understood with all their souls the horrific uniqueness of the Holocaust.

So, too, do the survivors and World War II veterans who knew first- hand the horrors of Nazism. My father, who is present in the Rotunda today, was one of those GIs. He battled from Normandy to the Bulge to the final victory, winning two bronze stars for valor. Not only as your son, but as Israel’s ambassador to this great nation, I want to say thank you, Dad, and thank you to all the brave Americans who fought alongside you.

Rescuers, survivors and veterans—their mere presence warns us against equating the Holocaust with any other atrocity. Yet, they urge us to prevent the Holocaust’s recurrence. They remind us to be vigilant, they tell us to stand strong. And they exhort us, always, to remember.

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