U.S. Ambassador to Israel Says Michael Oren's Claims About Obama 'Don't Reflect Truth'

Dan Shapiro says the former Israeli envoy's accusatory WSJ op-ed is meant to sell his memoir.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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Dan Shapiro, left, and Michael Oren, right. Photos by Olivier Fitoussi, Ofer Vaknin
Dan Shapiro, left, and Michael Oren, right. Photos by Olivier Fitoussi, Ofer Vaknin
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro slammed Knesset Member Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to Washington, for his opinion piece in which he accused U.S. President Barak Obama of deliberately abandoning Israel.

"Michael Oren published an imaginary account of what happened," Shapiro said in a Hebrew-language interview with Army Radio. "I disagree with what he wrote. He was an ambassador in the past, but he is now a politician and an author who wants to sell books. Sometimes an ambassador has a limited point of view into ongoing efforts. What he wrote does not reflect the truth."

In his opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Oren wrote that both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Obama made mistakes that damaged the ties between the two countries, but only the latter did so "deliberately."

Oren penned the article, titled "How Obama Abandoned Israel," as part of a campaign to promote his new memoir about his service as Israel's ambassador to Washington, between 2009-2013.

In it he claimed that Obama has forsaken the two key principles in the ties between Israel and the U.S.: avoiding public discord and the commitment on the part of both sides not to surprise each other with policy changes.

In his article, Oren further states that Obama "was never anti-Israel" and has bolstered the security cooperation between the two countries. However, he asserts that "immediately after his first inauguration, Mr. Obama put daylight between Israel and America." Oren quotes statements Obama allegedly made to Jewish leaders in 2009: “When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs.”

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