After a heated exchange with former US Ambassador Martin Indyk on CNN today, it would seem exceedingly clear that Oren is either a liar or was deceived by Prime Minister Netanyahu. Either way, Oren has just given many US Jews another good reason to walk away from an Israel led by Netanayhu.
The video posted at bottom is only a brief excerpt of the segment. CNN doesn't have all of it online yet, for some reason. But just before what are about to see took place, Oren was outed – very politely, I might add – by Indyk for making a claim in his new book that is absolutely false.
Oren wrote that the Obama Administration's appointment of Indyk as special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process showed Obama didn't care about the relationship between Israel and the US, because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a famously bad relationship with Indyk and appointing Indyk was rubbing salt in that open wound.
Indyk responded by noting that Netanyahu was asked by the US about the possible Indyk appointment before it was made, and Netanyahu agreed to it. Indyk pointed out that Oren was writing as if he had the complete picture of what was happening when, in fact, he did not.
Whether the actual truth is that Oren was lying, or if the truth is that Netanyahu withheld this rather important information from Oren, who after all was Israel's ambassador in Washington, is unclear.
But what happened on CNN was that Oren went into attack mode:
Like Indyk or hate him, he isn't a historian turned diplomat turned Israeli politician, and he clearly is not lying about this.
As for Oren, he never should have been Israel's ambassador to the US, and his successor, Republican Party operative turned Israeli diplomat Ron Dermer, should not have been, either.
That Netanyahu would choose these two men speaks poorly of Netanyahu.
But for many American Jews, most of what Netanyahu has done over the past several years has taught them a lesson they and their children may never unlearn: Israel is not our country, its policies are not our policies, and our money should not be used to support its government.
Israel will reap what it has sowed, and when it most needs the support of US Jews, it will likely find much of that support evaporated during the last two Netanyahu governments. And Michael Oren is a prime example of why that is so.