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July 19, 2015 1:13 pm

Michael Oren’s Critics Refuse to Address His Arguments

avatar by Lou Balcher

Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren. PHOTO: Wikipedia.

Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren. PHOTO: Wikipedia.

Earlier this month, after publishing his book Ally – My Journey Across the American-Israel Divide, Ambassador Michael Oren spoke at the Free Library of Philadelphia to a packed crowd.

Oren gave comprehensive answers, and apologized for the length of his responses to probing questions asked by Middle East Forum founder Daniel Pipes. Shortly into the Q&A, at 8:40 pm, the fire alarm rang and the guests and speaker were escorted out of the building.

The abrupt end of the event was symbolic of the efforts of many Liberals in the U.S. to cut off questioning when anyone attacks the Obama Administration.

Knowing that I risk this same attack by defending Michael Oren, I also expect that I will alienate my friends on the Right by sharing that I wrote a letter to President Obama praising him for his efforts to save the auto industry, help rebuild our economy, and pass health care reform.

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These words of gratitude to the President preceded a request to reconsider his drive for a deal with Iran that would actually enable that country to build nuclear weapons.

Ambassador Oren wanted his unique insights to be part of the debate during the critical decision making time on the Iran nuclear deal. His book, he commented, was not a light beach read. But he wanted his book to make a difference – and he didn’t want to wait until the Fall (which is generally seen as a better time to publish).

Instead of engaging with Oren’s arguments, the Left wing in the U.S. is simply attempting to discredit the person of the former Ambassador, and the unique insights of his four years in the halls of decision making. They want to “shoot the messenger” rather than deal with real concerns.

For example, Jane Eisner, the Editor of the Forward, penned an Op-Ed declaring “most American Jews not only continue to support Obama but align themselves so fulsomely with progressive values and politics.”

The Forward is normally very nuanced and informative on the American Jewish community. This time “most Jews” means about half, with the numbers dropping. Gallup attributes this drop to the fact that, “The administration has embarked on a controversial effort to broker a nuclear agreement with Iran, Israel’s longtime avowed enemy, which may have offended some American Jews who see their president as siding more with Iran than with Israel.”

Commenting on Oren’s observation of high levels of anti-Semitism in America, Eisner relates, “Anti-Semitism is at historic lows.” Again, a quick look at the ADL website reveals a significant increase of anti-Semitism. (“Anti-Semitic Incidents in 2014: A 21 Percent Increase Across the U.S.”) And we of course know that anti-Semitism is rising on college campuses.

What Oren’s critics don’t do is counter his argument about the dangers of striking a nuclear deal with Iran.

I am seriously fearful of the progressives’ “wishful thinking,” and support for a deal that would enable Iran – the number one source of three and a half decades of international terrorism – to move forward with obtaining a nuclear weapon. This is unlikely to change even though the horrific deal with Iran has been announced.

To operate in a crazy world, sometimes we inure ourselves to reality. We can rest on wishful thinking, but Israelis are unanimous in their appreciation of what they are up against. Hezbollah is Iran’s front-line on Israel’s northern border, with tens of thousands of, as yet, non-nuclear tipped missiles. Iran also arms Hamas on Israel’s southwestern border. Are Iran’s intentions against Israel hidden? Do my progressive friends ask themselves, “What if I’m wrong?”

In one way, though, Michael Oren’s book does make for a good Summer read. It is a passionate love story, the tale of his love for Israel, his love for America, and the love for his wife Sally. I believe that we all can relate to these three expressions of love.

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