Ambassador Michael Oren is perhaps Israel's most eloquent spokesperson. A historian of the first order, he authored the definitive work on Israel's 1967 War;
Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, and more recently, Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present.
This week, he graced Seattle's shores with his presence, appearing on Steve Scher's Weekday, met with the Seattle Times, spoke at AJC's Inter-faith/Inter-ethnic Group (AJC hosted an Interfaith and Intergroup Luncheon with Seattle’s religious and cultural leaders, allowing for an opportunity to engage in an open and honest dialogue about Israel), and culminated his whirlwind visit to Seattle with a talk at Temple de Hirsch Sinai.
Ever the diplomat, as well as an individual of class and distinction, Oren did not mention individuals (Peter Beinart) or groups (J-Street) by name. But his message was clear: Being Pro-Israel cannot mean advocating boycotts of any sort against the Jewish State, or bemoaning the state of Israeli democracy (in fact, democracy in Israel is alive and well and thriving, messy as it may be). And the settlements, however problematic they may be, do not constitute a major impediment to a peace process and an ultimate two-state solution. Presenting them as such is disingenuous. They are a red-herring. Were there a realistic partner on the other side who could deliver, any issues vis-a-vis the settlements could be accommodated. But as long as the Palestinians refuse to sit at the table without pre-conditions, and as long as Hamas remains ascendant in Palestinian politics, it is a categorical misrepresentation to lay the blame for the impasse in the "peace process" at the feet of the Israelis.
david in Seattle
|American Jews boycotting Israeli settlements is terribly wrong|
Sometimes it seems that we, Israelis and American Jews, not only inhabit different countries but different universes, different realities," Israel Ambassador to U.S. Michael Oren says • "At stake is nothing less than the unity of a Jewish people."
Israel Hayom Staff