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July 1, 2015 10:10 am

Opinion: Michael Oren’s New Book is a Must Read

avatar by Ronn Torossian

Email a copy of "Opinion: Michael Oren’s New Book is a Must Read" to a friend
Michael Oren said PA President Mahmoud Abbas suggested in his New York Times op-ed, "that the Arabs had accepted the U.N.’s Partition Plan in 1947 while Israel rejected it.” Photo: Elder of Ziyon.

Michael Oren. Photo: Elder of Ziyon.

I have just finished reading Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide by Michael Oren, Israel’s former Ambassador to the United States, and it was an amazing read. It is well-written – Oren is a historian – yet the book reads akin to a long-form daily newspaper, mixing politics, diplomacy, and current events. There was tremendous insight into the America-Israel relationship, and this is a must read for anyone concerned about the State of Israel.

While there’s been extensive press surrounding the book (Oren has written at least 3 op-eds on it), his hypothesis is nothing new: that President Obama is hostile towards the State of Israel. Oren shares countless stories from the political (and negotiating) frontlines, and shines a light on the political motivations, personalities, and behind the scenes drama.

Anyone reading this book who is a Zionist will become even more concerned about the current situation in the world. One cannot help but think the glass is half-empty, with eminent danger threatening the Jewish people on many fronts. It’s a scary – yet seemingly realistic – observation from one of Israel’s highest profile representatives of the past few years.

Some book highlights:

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  • Oren is rather mainstream on the Israeli political spectrum – far from radical, and comes across as someone deeply devoted to and consumed with helping the Jewish people and the State of Israel. He makes the point repeatedly that the Obama White House harbors hostility towards Israel – and while he claims certain redeeming qualities for this administration, his repeated clear analysis is that this President – and White House – cannot be trusted when it comes to Israel for many reasons.
  • Oren subtly makes the point that this President has forever changed the relationship between American Jewry and Israel. He says that while the masses of American Jewry have long abandoned Judaism for the “religion of liberalism,” there is no question that the mainstream, non-Orthodox American Jewish community is also likely to side with America over Israel. Oren is repeatedly pained by it, saying ’“…more tormenting still were the widening gaps between Israel and American Jews.”
  • Oren shares a unique perspective on the Holocaust, noting that he found himself at Holocaust memorial events wondering why the American Jewish community was “… standing at attention, rather than rending our garments in shame.” The shame he refers to is that much of the American Jewish leadership was silent while their brethren were being killed in Europe. Oren noted that he felt that “the annihilation of the six million remained a uniquely Jewish catastrophe, whose recurrence was best prevented by an Israeli power.”

While Michael Oren is now a Knesset Member, his impact as an author will be long-felt in the halls of power in both America and Israel.

Ronn Torossian is a PR Executive & Author.

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  • rulierose

    well now hold on:

    “there is no question that the mainstream, non-Orthodox American Jewish community is also likely to side with America over Israel.”

    as an American, regardless of religion, I will ALWAYS “side with America” over any other country. as much as I love Israel, if it came to a decision that would be bad for America but good for Israel, I would HAVE to go with what’s good for America.

    happily, in 99.9% of the cases, what’s good for America is also what’s good for Israel. the difference now is that Barack Obama is doing what’s bad for both countries.

  • Ronn,

    I think Oren is a bit more ambivalent about Barack Obama than you suggest.

    On page 98, he writes:

    “Accordingly, I culled his memoirs, extrapolated from all that I had heard and read, and formulated several basic assumptions.

    The first was that Obama was not anti-Israel.”

    Given the extent and nature of his many criticisms of Obama as it pertains to Israel, it is hard to imagine that this is what Oren honestly believes.

    But, there it is.

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