Michael Oren: American Support for Israel Remains Strong

by | Sep 12, 2013 | Israel, Standing With Israel

During his term as Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren found himself faced with a rapidly changing America, a Middle East on fire and an Israel that had to deftly navigate between the seismic changes taking place in both locations. But looking at the polls, which continuously show high support for Israel among Americans, Oren is satisfied, saying they show that support for Israel in American public opinion is “the highest it’s ever been.”

“At a time when the Middle East is turbulent, Israel is an island of stability,” Oren says.

Oren says his greatest challenge as ambassador was “dealing with the new situation in which everything is dynamic, where circumstances change significantly and very quickly, both in the U.S. as well as the Middle East.”

The outgoing ambassador, whose successor is Ron Dermer, elaborates on those dynamics in the following interview he did with Israel Hayom.

Israel Hayom: Are American citizens apathetic toward the Middle East and Israel?

Michael Oren: Israel always interests the American citizen, but there is a weariness over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The economic crisis has led America toward a deepening isolationism. Still, this has not had an effect on our long-standing, deep strategic alliance with the U.S. We’re talking about a special relationship in all of its aspects, beyond the strategic ties.

IH: How are the changes in the U.S. affecting the political scene?

MO: The results of the 2012 elections are more significant than the results of the 2008 elections. There is a new political reality in the U.S. different than what we knew some 30 years ago. The changes are happening, but the support for Israel within American society remains strong. This attests to our success in reading the changing winds there and acting accordingly. This has huge significance, as it has direct influence on the administration’s support for protecting Israel, including diplomatic support at the United Nations and other international forums.

Israel enjoys bipartisan support in Congress, and this allows us to achieve many things—for instance, in American influence on the Europeans to include Hezbollah on their list of terror organizations, as well as what I consider one of the most significant achievements of my term as ambassador here: The American decision to assist in funding the Iron Dome system to the tune of about $1.5 billion over the past four years. This decision came after many hours of meetings with senior congressmen and women as well as opinion pieces in the American media.

IH: What is your take on the criticism against President Barack Obama that he has acted mistakenly and hesitatingly in the Middle East, directly weakening the West’s clout in the region?

MO: The changes that have rocked the Middle East over the past few years are very fluid and very flammable. Nobody has a monopoly on an error-free term in office. It’s very hard to chart a policy that buffers against all the changing variables in the Middle East. I think that in general, with regard to Egypt and Syria, our positions were very close to those of the U.S. It is clear to the Americans that, in Egypt, it is important to safeguard the peace agreement [with Israel]. On Syria, the Israeli position is crystal clear: Israel is not interfering in the civil war in Syria, and we do not interfere with the decisions that the Americans take regarding action there.

[During my time as ambassador], there were friendly and open meetings between Obama and [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, and sometimes there was even humor in them. There were good discussions between two pragmatic leaders, both very educated and intelligent, and [they] spent a lot of hours together discussing fateful issues.

However, there were disagreements, and there was criticism of Israel, but this was essentially over tactics. The disagreements are over two central issues: the way to achieve a permanent solution with the Palestinians and what is to be done to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Looking back, the gaps between the two sides have been significantly reduced. On the negotiations with the Palestinians, the Americans have dropped their demand for a settlement freeze over the Green Line, and today there are negotiations whose beginning was made possible without preconditions.

IH: What other issues of disagreement did you have to deal with during your term?

MO: Our relationship with J Street, a left-wing Jewish group that defines itself as pro-Israel. I appeared before the group, and the question that came up again and again is, Why are we demanding that the Palestinians recognize us as a Jewish state? Because the left in the U.S. perceives this to be a tactical demand, an attempt to place obstacles in the path of the peace process. I explained to them that this is actually the foundation of any peace deal: the mutual recognition of both sides of the national identity of the other. There is no peace without the recognition of the other. It was supremely important to lay out our position and explain that we are sincere and serious about wanting to reach a peace deal.

In his 2009 Cairo speech, President Obama drew a link between the establishment of the state of Israel and the Holocaust, a link that is closer to the Arab narrative. Over the years he has corrected this narrative. During his recent visit to Israel, he spoke about a 3,000-year-old connection between the Jewish nation and the land of Israel, about the roots of the Jewish state and about Israel as a Jewish state. This is the official position of the administration today. The fact that the Americans accept our version is extremely significant.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why There is Power in Your Song

Why There is Power in Your Song

Do you have a great voice? If so, then sing! Do you have a horrible voice? If so, then sing! There is power in the song. God gave you your vocal cords, voice and ability to sing. There has never been a culture in which music was not part of society. We see music...

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Learning to listen with discernment means that you begin to recognize the voice of God so well that other voices sound unfamiliar. In John 10:5a, Jesus told his followers, "Yet they will never follow a stranger." This statement needs to become a reality in your life....

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

The definition and purpose of leadership are directly tied to organizational models and the five stages of building an organizational model. Let’s talk about those five stages. What we say here may sound somewhat like what you may have heard before about building a...

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

America stands in a crucial moment, much like the moment where Elijah made Israel choose between Baal and Jehovah. Elijah said to the people, "How long do you halt between two opinions? If Baal is God..." That's according to Evangelist Mario Murillo, whose ministry...

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

RECENT ARTICLES

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The...
Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose, peace and, if he can, our future. Jesus knew it was important to warn us...

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose, peace and, if he can, our future. Jesus knew it was important to warn us...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]