PM tells Oren he wants him as US envoy

Diplomatic appointment to be approved by cabinet next week; Oren: Israel won't let Iran go nuclear.

May 3, 2009 22:39
1 minute read.
PM tells Oren he wants him as US envoy

michael oren 248 88 aj. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu telephoned Michael Oren overnight Sunday and informed him that he intended to appoint the American born historian to Israel's ambassador to the US. The appointment is to be approved in next week's cabinet meeting. Earlier Sunday, Oren said that Israel will not allow a nuclear Iran and that the Jewish state is committed to peace. "Israel will not remain passive while a government that's sworn to wipe it off the map acquires the means for doing that," said Oren of the notion of a nuclear-armed Iran. The Princeton-educated historian was speaking following an appearance at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference here. Though Netanyahu has so far declined to endorse a Palestinian state, leading many in the international community to accuse Israel of not wanting peace, Oren insisted that Israel wanted to find means for coexistence with surrounding Arab entities. "This government is a serious partner for peace and will do its utmost to reconcile with all of our neighbors," he said, noting that he was talking as a private citizen. Even so, he added, Israel's security needs must always come first. He said that should he be chosen for the ambassadorship, he would be "delighted and honored" to serve. As an American national, it is expected that Oren would have to renounce his US citizenship to accept the post. He indicated that he was willing to do so, and said his US background would be "an asset" because "it helps me read America." Oren saw combat as a paratrooper in the First Lebanon War and continued to serve in the reserves, acting as an IDF spokesman during the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead. He is a senior fellow at Jerusalem's Shalem Center, and a visiting professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service for the 2008-2009 academic year as part of the faculty associated with the Program for Jewish Civilization. Oren is the author of the best-selling Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East and of Power, Faith, and Fantasy: The United States in the Middle East, 1776 to 2006.

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