Michael Oren’s anti-Obama book tour is a bad sign for the US-Israel relationship

Michael Oren.Donald Bowers/Getty Images

Michael Oren. Donald Bowers/Getty Images

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador from 2009 to 2013 and now an Israeli lawmaker, has been a central figure in the US-Israel relationship and its hardships.

Oren is about to release a memoir on his time as ambassador, and in recent days has been issuing a series of interviews and public statements about how it all went so wrong. His telling is both simple and damaging: The Obama administration and liberal American Jews, bespoiled by ideology, are dead-set against Israel.

Oren has claimed Obama “deliberately” damaged US-Israel ties. The president’s outreach to the Muslim world, Oren said, was a “failure” rooted in his academic background and “earlier ties to Indonesia and the Muslim villages of Kenya.”American Jews have failed to use their powerful positions in the media to help Israel, and instead “fight their Jewish identity to lend credibility to their criticism of Israel.”

Oren’s insults do not stand alone. If you follow his logic, Oren’s implication is that Israel cannot count on Obama or American Jews, so the once-broad foundations of the alliance are essentially lost. As he should know himself from his time as ambassador, this plays into and thus exacerbates one of the most dangerous trends facing Israel: the growing polarization in American politics toward Israel.

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