The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has pointed to recently reported remarks by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, that confirm ZOAs long-held and argued view that, under President Barack Obama, U.S.-Israel relations have shifted dramatically away from their former warmth and closeness.
According to reports, Ambassador Oren told [Israeli] foreign ministry colleagues at a private briefing in
Ambassador Oren denied some of these remarks yesterday, particularly the reference to a rift between the U.S. and Israel, the Washington Post noting that, Oren said the briefing, given in Hebrew at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, was no different from what he often says to various groups. I said shift, not rift, but that may be a subtlety that escaped the Israeli ear, he said. [However] the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, citing five Israeli diplomats who either heard Oren speak or were informed of his remarks, said he painted a dark picture of U.S.-Israel relations
[This also contradicts remarks by Ambassador Oren in an interview with the Jerusalem Post last week in which he said] that the Obama administration was as good if not better on Israel than many previous administrations
Oren on Sunday emphatically denied as a lie a report that he had suggested in the briefing that Obama operated out of cold calculation, not emotional attachment to Israel. But he confirmed that he did say Obama runs a very tight ship, with key decision-making done at the White House, not the State Department or other agencies. This is one of the most centralized administrations in post-World War II history, said Oren (Glenn Kessler, Israeli Ambassador Oren denies statement of ‘rift’ with U.S., despite reports,
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, Even allowing for the fact that Ambassador Oren has issued clarifications that denied some of his reported remarks in a private meeting with Israeli Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem, he has nonetheless pointed to a major tectonic shift (he never denied using the word tectonic) in the U.S.-Israel relationship and identified the source of that shift as being President Obama himself.
The admission of a deep shift rings true, because there is so much data to confirm it. The ZOA has pointed over the past 18 months to major changes in the U.S.-Israel relationship, including harsh, repeated criticism of Israel, including an unprecedented condemnation for merely announcing a program of urban construction in Jewish neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem, while other countries that actively oppose vital American interests receive no such criticism. The Obama Administration demanded a freeze to Jewish construction in Judea,
The Obama Administration has warned
President Obama also broke with decades of past
ZOA has also pointed to Obamas June 2009 Cairo speech, in which he demoted Israels existence to a mere consolation prize for enduring the Holocaust, while comparing Palestinian suffering to Jewish suffering in the Nazi era, strongly and shockingly implying that Palestinian suffering was equivalent to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. He also strongly implied the Palestinian situation is equivalent to that of U.S. Blacks during slavery and Blacks during
False themes like these emanating from President Obama and his Administration seem to be a means of changing the political climate between the two countries and thus a deliberate distancing of the
Even occasions in which the strength and warmth of U.S.-Israel relations could emphasized without reference to the Middle East like
Ambassador Oren is clearly pointing to a serious problem that must concern every supporter of