Oren thanks US for Ospreys and ‘QME’

Israel ambassador to Washington commends recent visits by US leaders; says aircraft sale will “guarantee Israel’s qualitative military edge”.

Former Israeli ambassador to US Michael Oren. (photo credit: Hyungwon Kang / Reuters)
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 capability.
He said the sale is part of America’s commitment to “guarantee Israel’s qualitative military edge”– or QME, as it’s known.
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 homeland.
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.
“I 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.