Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Trust us! Some stunning insights into an evolving alliance

...Oren doesn’t say that the president is anti-Israel. Rather, “Obama is pro-Israel — but his is a certain mythical, pre-1967 Israel that never really existed,” he said, a time when the state was “less democratic, less open, less respectful of minorities.”

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
15 June '15..

An important new book, a memoir by Prof. Michael Oren who served as Israel's ambassador to the US between May 2009 and September 2013, is getting media coverage this week. His vantage point as both an insider and a noted historian at a time of huge importance is an invaluable one.

It's worth noting that, unlike some other key ambassadorial appointments, Oren did not get the job through his being close to prime minister Netanyahu. In fact, as far as we can tell, he's never been regarded as a Netanyahu crony. Nor has he been associated with especially robust viewpoints about the US/Israel relationship. Until now.

He calls "Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide", to be published next Tuesday, a book written "with love — and fear." He's not kidding.

We have not read it (it's not yet available in the stores) but were struck some things said by the author and his reviewer in an article by Gary Rosenblatt in the current issue of The Jewish Week NY. Under the title "No Way To Treat An Ally", it's (in the newspaper's words) a "devastating insider’s account of White House distancing from Israel." Some selected verbatim quotes:

As he notes in his foreword, “‘ally’ is a simple, beautiful word” that evokes “warmth,” fitting for the “special relationship,” said to exist between Israel and the U.S. But that relationship also includes “bitter differences,” he reminds us at the outset. And much of the next 375 pages is a carefully recalled, detailed and riveting first-hand account of how the Washington-Jerusalem ties have unraveled — undone by mistrust, mistakes and missed opportunities — with Obama in the role of bully-in-chief.

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