The U.S. State Department rejected accusations made by MK Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to Washington, that U.S. President Barack Obama had deliberately abandoned Israel.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, State Department spokesman John Kirby attributed Oren’s statements in a recent Wall Street Journal article criticizing Obama’s policy toward Israel to “a politician trying to sell a book.”
Oren's new book, “Ally" is due to be released early next week.
Kirby said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry believes Oren's statements on Obama's handling of Israel are "false" and "absolutely inaccurate," claiming that Oren had “limited visibility” into the true workings of U.S.-Israel diplomatic relations during his time as envoy to Washington.
Earlier Wednesday, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon repudiated the article by Oren, who is a member of his Kulanu party. Kahlon sent a letter to U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro expressing deep appreciation for Obama and saying that Oren’s piece did not speak for himself or Kulanu.
On Tuesday, Kahlon received an angry telephone call from Shapiro sharply protesting Oren’s article, and asked Kahlon to clarify whether Oren’s piece represented his and his party’s positon.
Kahlon then summoned Oren for a talk, during which Oren made clear that he had no intention of apologizing for the claims he made in the article.