Report: Michael Oren running with Kahlon's Kulanu party

A source close to Oren said in response that the former ambassador is examining several options in the public sphere and a decision will be made soon.

December 14, 2014 20:49
2 minute read.
Michael Oren

Michael Oren former ambassador of Israel to the United States, speaks during the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York in April.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Former ambassador to the US Michael Oren will be running with former communications minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party in the March 17 elections, Israeli media reported on Sunday.

A source close to Oren said in response to the Channel 2 report that the former ambassador is examining several options in the public sphere and a decision will be made soon.

The news comes after Oren denied rumors forecasting a political run last month.

“I have read many reports on supposed political affiliations in the Israeli press,” Oren told The Jerusalem Post in November. “I’m not running for anything. I’m teaching at IDC [Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya], writing a book, and advancing issues important to this country.”

Since his return from Washington there has been speculation about Oren running for Knesset with different parties.

Oren is currently teaching at the IDC and completing a book on his time in Washington that is due to be published in June.

Oren revealed his opinion on diplomatic issues in a December 2 speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in New York. He criticized the administration of US President Barack Obama more than he ever did as ambassador.

“I think that this administration has a worldview that does not always accord with the worldview of any Israeli government, not just this Israeli government,” he said. “I don’t think you’re going to find any Israeli government that’s going to define Gilo and French Hill as settlements, for example.

Or an Israeli government that would be capable, even under Israeli law, of freezing building in those large Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem. It just couldn’t happen.”

Oren said Israel should not wait for another round of talks with the Palestinians, which he said would only “prove to us that they are incapable of supporting a state structure because they hold the record of a people that have been offered a state most frequently in history and they have turned it down almost entirely with violence.”

To preserve Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, its leaders had to make decisions by themselves, he said.

“I don’t think there’s resolution for any Middle East conflicts; I’m not sure there’s a solution for life, at least one that we want to talk about. And what we can look at are ways we can better manage the situation, better ensure our security, our identity as a Jewish and democratic state, and ways that I think we can enhance the daily lives of Israelis and Palestinians on the ground,” he said.

Michael Wilner contributed to this report.

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