Former Israeli ambassador to US Michael Oren..
(photo credit: Hyungwon Kang / Reuters)
NEW YORK – At the 2013 Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York on Sunday,
Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren praised the three “historic,” back-to-back
visits by President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary
of State John Kerry, which he said represent the integrity of the relationship
between the two countries.
While Oren emphasized more than once that he
would not detail private conversations between himself and American officials,
he did thank the United States for authorizing the first foreign sale of V-22
Ospreys – new Boeing multi-mission aircraft with short takeoff and landing
He said the sale is part of America’s commitment to
“guarantee Israel’s qualitative military edge”– or QME, as it’s
That commitment has expanded as threats against the Jewish state
have changed, Oren said, citing an aggressive regime in Iran and the dynamism of
the Arab Spring.
Further details of the recent military sales would
remain “private,” he added.
Speaking of the two-state solution, Oren said
that he finds himself reminding his foreign counterparts that Israel recognizes
the Palestinians as a people with a legitimate right to a
Israel asks for the Palestinians to “recognize that there is a
Jewish people,” he said, also with a right to a homeland.
“From his first
comments on the tarmac of Ben-Gurion Airport,” Oren stated, President Obama
honored that reality – that there is a Jewish people with a right and historic
claim to a homeland – and that made the trip a success in his eyes.
had high expectations for the trip,” he said, quoting his favorite comment from
the US president during his three-day tour: “The State of Israel does not exist
because of the Holocaust, but in the survival of a strong Jewish State of
Israel, the Holocaust will never happen again.”
Oren was more measured in
his remarks than some of his retired colleagues who spoke at the conference. Ron
Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, was in the audience for his speech.