Michael Oren appointed to US envoy role

PM, FM decide to appoint scholar as Sallai Meridor's replacement as Israel's ambassador to Washington.

michael oren 248 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
michael oren 248 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman are appointing Michael Oren as Israel's ambassador to the United States, Israel Radio reported Saturday evening. Oren will replace Ambassador Sallai Meridor in the coming weeks, the report said. Meridor announced he would resign his post in March to allow the Netanyahu government "to appoint, immediately upon its formation, the man or woman of its choosing as ambassador to Washington." Oren, author of Six Days of War, is admired by Netanyahu's staff for his expertise on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He has also published numerous articles on Israeli foreign policy. Currently a professor in the Jewish civilization program at Georgetown University, and a Senior Fellow in the Shalem Center - a Jerusalem think tank, Oren has frequently served as an IDF spokesman dealing with the foreign media during recent military campaigns. Oren was born in 1955 in upstate New York and raised in New Jersey. He moved to Israel in 1979 and enlisted in the Paratroopers Brigade. He received a Ph.D. in Near East studies from Princeton University in 1986. During Operation Cast Lead, while on winter break from Georgetown, Oren volunteered as a military liaison officer, briefing reporters outside Gaza. Oren also wrote Power, Faith and Fantasy, a 2007 view of US policy in the Middle East from 1776 to the present era. US Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, welcomed the appointment, predicting that Oren would be "an outstanding ambassador for Israel, our strongest democratic partner in this troubled region."