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November 14, 2014 12:07 pm
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Former Israeli Ambassador Says U.S. ‘Has No Alternative’ to Alliance With Israel

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Fomer Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren. Photo: Israeli government.

Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren said at an event last week that the U.S. has no other option than to be allied with Israel.

“The United States has no alternative to us. We are the necessary alliance,” he said at the 13th annual Iranian American Jewish Federation of New York (IAJF) gala dinner in New York City on Nov. 6, where he was a guest speaker. The event celebrated over $29 million raised for over 170 organizations, primarily in Israel.

Oren served as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013. He currently holds the Abba Eban Chair in International Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, and is Ambassador in Residence at the Atlantic Council.

During a question and answer session at the IAJF event, Oren was asked about the U.S.-Israel relationship and how serious the current friction between the two countries is. The ambassador replied, “it’s not Yitzhak and Bill,” referring to former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and former U.S. President Bill Clinton. He added that though there are disagreements between Israel and the U.S, “particularly on the Iranian nuclear issue,” it is time for the countries to move past their differences.

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“The time is to get over it. Get on with it,” he said.

Oren said the alliance between the U.S. and Israel is also harmed by another factor.

“In that alliance, one side of the alliance does not recognize the capital of the other,” he said, before joking,”so at this stage I wanna state unequivocally, and you can quote me on this, that the state of Israel recognizes Washington, D.C. as the capital of the United States.”

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