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May 13, 2010

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael B. Oren on the State of U.S.-Israel Relations

Listed in: Israel, Fact Sheets, Stop the Smears

On Tuesday, May 4 Jewish community leaders, Democratic Party officials and others gathered at a dinner in honor of DNC Chairman Governor Tim Kaine, hosted by Ambassador Michael Oren at his Washington home. Ambassador Oren made strong and candid comments praising President Barack Obama and his administration, as well as the administration’s powerful support for the State of Israel.

A summary of Ambassador Oren’s remarks and main points follows. This summary of the Ambassador’s comments has been approved by the Embassy of Israel.

This fact sheet is available as a pdf.


On his relationship with the Obama Administration:

  • Relationships between the Ambassador and the top-level officials in this Administration are as good as or better than those between any previous Ambassadors and many previous Administrations, period. As the Ambassador noted, he has excellent access.


On the supposed “snub” of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by President Obama during his recent visit to the United States:

  • As the Ambassador explained carefully, one of his great frustrations is needing to consistently knock down the false “snub” story of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent visit to the White House. As the Ambassador noted:


*There are normally no photos in such a non-state visit;

*He came in through the front door, not the back door;

*It was a last-minute meeting as the President had expected to be out of the country;

*The First Lady and their children were actually not in town;

*They worked closely and positively until late at night;

*The Prime Minister asked if he could stay to meet with his team and the White House said “of course;”

*The Prime Minister asked if the President could return later to hear new ideas and he gladly did;

*They parted on good terms, etc.

*It was not until the following morning that the Ambassador read that the visit was described as a “snub,” and he was shocked.


On opposing partisanship - and promoting bipartisanship - in supporting the U.S.-Israel relationship:

  • The Ambassador expressed deep concern over the increasing use of support for Israel as a partisan issue in American domestic politics. The Ambassador stressed that bipartisan support for Israel is a strategic national interest for the State of Israel.


On the Obama Administration’s commitment to preventing a nuclear-armed Iran and confronting Syria:

  • The Ambassador commented that the President and top levels of the NSC, Defense Department, State Department, etc. have been singularly focused on preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, and Israel’s government continues to be on-board with this sanctions effort.
  • The Ambassador also noted how much Israel and Israelis appreciate the Obama Administration’s focus on Syria’s recent destabilizing moves.


On security and military cooperation:

  • Security and military cooperation between the United States and Israel are at superb levels, and the U.S. focus on maintaining and growing Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) under this administration is an essential step forward. Between joint military exercises, weapons development programs and increased direct military assistance, U.S.-Israel security cooperation has reached new heights.