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Obama violated US-Israeli understanding by not clearing Cairo speech and Iran talks with Netanyahu –Oren

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Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren’s new book is shocking not just for its attack on Jewish journalists, but for its statement of a principle binding the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel: Never “surprise” the partner with a policy change. According to that principle, President Obama was supposed to brief Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before he entered into secret talks with Iran and supposed to share his June 2009 Cairo speech to the Arab world with Netanyahu ahead of time to get his comments. And he didn’t do either.

So all our foreign policy in the Middle East has to run through Jerusalem first, per Oren. Whatever happened to that quaint idea, the national interest?

And Obama also blindsided Netanyahu when he “abruptly” asked him to freeze settlements and commit to the two-state solution during their first meeting a month earlier! Talk about going too fast on your first date!

Oren, an American who gave up his citizenship to serve Israel, published an excerpt of the book titled, “How Obama Abandoned Israel,” in the Wall Street Journal. Haaretz has picked it up, with these excerpts.

The former ambassador claims that Obama had forsaken the commitment to “no surprises” by “abruptly” demanding during his first meeting with Netanyahu in May 2009 that Israel freeze settlement construction and accept the two-state solution. He furthers posits that Obama caught Netanyahu off guard with his Cairo speech in June 2009. According to Oren, unlike his predecessors, Obama did not consult Netanyahu before making the speech and did not give the Israeli prime minister a copy of the address ahead of time to allow him to make comments.

Furthermore, Oren says that Obama abandoned a 40-year-old U.S. policy in May 2011 when he endorsed the 1967 lines with land swaps as the basis for Israeli-Palestinian peace. “If Mr. Netanyahu appeared to lecture the president the following day, it was because he had been assured by the White House, through me, that no such change would happen,” he writes.

Oren’s article includes accusations that Obama “stunned” Israel when he offered to sponsor a UN Security Council investigation of the settlements, and when he supported Egyptian and Turkish efforts to expose Israel’s nuclear secrets.

Oren also says Obama surprised Israel when he entered secret talks with Iran without briefing Netanyahu.

“‘The talks resulted in an interim agreement that the great majority of Israelis considered a ‘bad deal’ with an irrational, genocidal regime. Mr. Obama, though, insisted that Iran was a rational and potentially ‘very successful regional power,'” Oren writes.

So the 47 Republican Senators who wrote the so-called traitor letter to Iranian leaders questioning Obama’s power to cut a deal were honoring the US-Israeli understanding, as I read Oren.

I was sitting in the hall in Cairo when Obama gave his speech, titled “A New Beginning,” and the Egyptian students were thrilled. The president said point blank that the settlements must stop:

The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.

He referred to the humiliations of occupation:

For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.

So he had to run this all by Netanyahu first? It never would have seen the light of day.

No wonder when Obama got seasoned, i.e., when he met with American Jewish leaders and studied a second principle of the relationship that Oren invokes, keep all disagreements private, Obama later vetoed a resolution against settlements in the Security Council, in 2011, and then in 2012 insisted that the Democratic platform include a plank calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel. But no doubt Obama has bridled against this pact again and again. As he should; it’s a check on our sovereignty.

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro says Oren is fabricating his story. The U.S. has never abandoned Israel!

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro slammed Knesset Member Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to Washington, for his opinion piece in which he accused U.S. President Barak Obama of deliberately abandoning Israel.

“Michael Oren published an imaginary account of what happened,” Shapiro said in a Hebrew-language interview with Army Radio. “I disagree with what he wrote. He was an ambassador in the past, but he is now a politician and an author who wants to sell books. Sometimes an ambassador has a limited point of view into ongoing efforts. What he wrote does not reflect the truth.”

That story also broke in Haaretz.

And what is the New York Times telling you about the Oren book? That it shows that an Israeli minister came up with the brilliant idea of getting rid of Assad’s chemical stockpiles through diplomacy.

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26 Responses

  1. Donald
    Donald on June 17, 2015, 12:21 pm

    That last paragraph about the Rudoren piece in the NYT was good–I was a little slow in piecing together the connection. So Rudoren read that book and said nothing about the Oren attack on Obama. Very interesting.

    • on June 17, 2015, 7:51 pm

      Oren is using his media savvy and credentials to help Bibi. His goal is to make Jewish journalists more supportive of Israel by unbraiding them and Obama for not treating Bibi like God and for criticizing Israel’s criminality and Apartheid against the Palestinians. Even Beinart says that Orens arguments are trivial and unconvincing and in my opinion this is being kind or polite.

      Oren probably sees himself as Bibi’s successor as Israeli PM. Sort of a Bibi lite with better media skills and better US manners – even more American than Bibi – looks just like a Congressman from California. In fact, if I were Bibi and thought like Bibi, I would promote Oren as the next PM. Remember that Oren is close to Bibi and gave up his US citizenship to become Israel’s ambassador to the USA. The fact that Oren can write such BS about Obama and Bibi, is a good example of how some will distort the truth in order to support Israel. The interesting fact is that just like Oren, some Zionists in our media, could be capable like him, of distorting reality and explanations in any area of foreign policy analysis, just for the sake of Israel’s reputation and the suppression of truth and logic that incriminate Israel. Some of the Jews who cover Israel for the NYTimes readily come to mind. I read this accusation every day in your posts. Oren is guilty of exactly the same type of unconvincing distortion that protects Israel from normal scrutiny.

      Let me summarize. Oren’s irrational outburst merely confirms that those who support Israel unconditionally are capable of irrationally distorting the facts of history and the interpretation of history in order to develop sympathy and support for Israeli policies that would not be tolerated in any civilized country.

  2. amigo
    amigo on June 17, 2015, 12:32 pm

    The USA is far to difficult to deal with and is not a partner in Israel,s quest to create the so called Greater Israel.My advice to Netanyahu is to end this difficult relationship and find another benefactor who will share everything with Israel and expect nothing in return.

    As for Oren , he is a traitor to the USA and should be shunned in American polite society.He should be called out on American MSM which according to Oren , would be no problem as it is over staffed with self hating Jewish journalists.

    • Boo
      Boo on June 18, 2015, 9:15 am

      You leave open the question as to where Bibi would find this new benefactor. There’s really nobody nearby now that Idi Amin Dada is no longer with us — quite a shame since they shared the same pathologies and avoirdupois. I’d suggest he look East to N. Korea whose leader is equally deluded and narcissistic. It’d be a match made in Heaven.

  3. Mooser
    Mooser on June 17, 2015, 12:57 pm

    Josh Marshall of TPM wrote about Oren this morning, too:

    Some good background in that article.

  4. Hostage
    Hostage on June 17, 2015, 2:03 pm

    The former ambassador claims that Obama had forsaken the commitment to “no surprises” by “abruptly” demanding during his first meeting with Netanyahu in May 2009 that Israel freeze settlement construction and accept the two-state solution.

    I think that boils-down to a basic literacy problem on the part of Oren and Netanyahu. The Quartet Performance-based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, S/2003/529, required Israel to take both of those steps immediately back in 2003 – and it was approved by a unanimous vote of the UN Security Council, S/2003/1100- S/RES/1515 (2003) , including the representative of the United States, Mr. Negroponte, a member of the Bush administration. See the verbatim record of the vote in S/PV.4862, 19 November 2003

    Security Council resolutions are legally binding under the terms of Article 25 (Chapter 5) of the UN Charter. Abba Eban, who had a marginally better command of the English language and the UN Charter than Michael Oren, stated for the official record that Security Council resolutions:

    possessed, within the meaning of Article 25, a compelling force beyond that pertaining to any resolution of any other organ of the United Nations, in his view the importance of the resolution had to be envisaged in the light of Article 25, under which the decisions of the Council on matters affecting international peace and security assumed an obligatory character for all Member States.

    — — See Paragraph 7 of the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs relating to Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations: “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.”

  5. amigo
    amigo on June 17, 2015, 2:31 pm

    Oren is complaining about Obama making policy changes without telling Nietanyahu.No mention of the announcements of illegal settlement expansion reserved for visiting US pols such as that which Biden was offered as a welcoming gift.Take that Biden and did you bring the transcripts of Obama,s FP, meetings for the last week that we demanded.Shape up Joe or we will be forced to find your replacement.Who do you think runs Washington.

  6. lysias
    lysias on June 17, 2015, 4:32 pm

    Time for an Obama-goes-to-Iran reversal of alliances.

  7. Kay24
    Kay24 on June 17, 2015, 5:42 pm

    Obama and other leaders should realize that this is result of allowing zionists to interfere in our foreign policies, tolerating their whining, and demands. Israeli people like Oren have acquired a sense of arrogance, and show their outrage when Americans decide for themselves what is best for our own nation, disregarding the demands of Israel.

    Oren book and wild claims seems to be garbage, but one thing is clear, their sense of entitlement is unbelievable.

  8. Peacekeeper
    Peacekeeper on June 17, 2015, 8:45 pm

    Please note that Israel requires its elected officials give up their US citizenship, while the US has no such prohibition on its members of congress. Apparently, Israel views loyalty as a one way street.

  9. gingershot
    gingershot on June 17, 2015, 11:26 pm

    This talk and the series preceding it was made possible as the result of a successful academic freedom challenge at SFCC… courage is contagious


    ‘The Successful 2nd American Revolution 4-2-2015*, 1P1V1S, and America free of the Israeli Lobby/Jewish Lobby’

    WHEN: July 1st, Wed evening, 6:00 – 7:00pm
    WHERE: Classroom 219, West Wing, Santa Fe Community College,
    WHO: Dr Lance Dale ,,,,,,Call [email protected] 505-428-1000 to find classroom

    A talk providing description and context of the historic clean break with the Israeli Lobby made *4-2-2015 with the signing of the Iran Framework Nuclear Deal (finalized June 30 with the Iran Nuclear Deal), the collapse of Israeli Apartheid and 1P1V1S, and America politically free of the Israeli Lobby

    The critical US Strategic Pivots of the 2nd American Revolution:

    The Pivot on Israel’s strategy on Iran *4-2-15
    The Pivot on Israel’s strategy on Palestine

    Dissolution of Israeli Apartheid:

    1P1V1S – One Person, One Vote, One State from the River to the Sea

    The 3 causative ‘existential events’ of the Apartheid’s collapse:

    The 3 dispositive and concurrent existential events seen as such by Israel itself:

    Fresh History #1: The Iran Nuclear Deal: signed sealed and delivered June 30
    Fresh History #2: Successfully advancing Palestinian case at the ICC
    Fresh History #3: Catastrophic reversal of US Diplomatic cover at UN

    – ‘Concurrency and synergy of crises and Strategic Collapse of Israeli Apartheid/Strategic Collapse of the Israeli Lobby’

    American Political Consequences and Resets :

    ‘America politically free of the Israeli Lobby/Jewish Lobby’
    Battle Royale – Obama’s Legacy slam-dunking Hillary’s Near-Presidency
    Sheldon Adelson’s ‘Chinese Mafia links’ US Court Case
    ‘There is no Israel Lobby of Post-Apartheid 1P1V1S’
    CHECKMATE: ‘Queen Hillary on an AIPAC Horse’


    Goals: General familiarity with current US and Israeli policy position and state of play amidst rapidly evolving events and importance of consumption of Israeli media to understanding above

  10. NickJOCW
    NickJOCW on June 18, 2015, 5:06 am

    Obama who sets out as a matter of policy and design to degrade the bond intentionally and as a matter of considered policy.

    This claim of Oren’s is probably true. I hope it is.

  11. Kay24
    Kay24 on June 18, 2015, 8:04 am

    Netanyahu REFUSES to disavow Oran’s wild claims. After all the support he received from Obama during the Gaza massacre, and at the UN, it seems this ingrate wants to remain silent so that the lies can go on. Strange that no one in Congress is standing up for their leader, no wait I forgot, their leader is the one in TelAvivi.

    “Netanyahu refuses U.S. request to disavow Michael Oren’s claims Obama abandoned Israel
    Ambassador Dan Shapiro asked Netanyahu to issue a statement disavowing Oren’s claims, Israeli sources said, to which the prime minister responded that he had no intention of public addressing the issue.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected an American request to publicly disassociate himself from claims made by former Israeli Ambassador to Washington and current Kulanu MK Michael Oren accusing President Barack Obama of deliberately abandoning Israel, in an op-ed published several days ago in the Wall Street Journal” Haaretz

  12. Boo
    Boo on June 18, 2015, 9:10 am

    This “understanding”, if it can be called that, boils down to nothing more than the egregious demand that Israel be allowed to act however it wishes and the US Government must zip its lips.

    That kind of “understanding” is nothing but shin-kicking by the odious little neighborhood brat. It should be repudiated each and every day until there’s not the slightest doubt that no such “understanding” will be tolerated.

  13. RobertHenryEller
    RobertHenryEller on June 18, 2015, 9:19 am

    The way Netanyahu and Israel Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer cleared Netanyahu’s speech before Congress with the White House?

  14. amigo
    amigo on June 18, 2015, 10:45 am

    OT .Some humour from the king of the Jews.

    “Hatred and intolerance has no place in Israeli society.”

    “In a meeting with Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen Thursday, Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the early morning arson attack on the Church of Loaves and Fishes located in the Galilee, vowing to capture and punish the perpetrators while pronouncing that intolerance has no place in Israeli society.

    “The shocking arson attack on the church is an attack on all of us. Freedom of worship in Israel is a cornerstone of Israeli society and is fully protected by the law,” Netanyahu said, adding “We will bring to justice those responsible for this heinous crime. Hatred and intolerance has no place in Israeli society.”

    The chances of these scum bags being sought after or caught are slim to zero and if by some miracle , they are caught , (perhaps they are seen on ccctv ) the chances of them being punished are less than zero.A pat on the back is more likely.

    Btw , have the Jewish criminal terrorists who burned a Palestinian child to death been brought to court yet.

    • eljay
      eljay on June 18, 2015, 10:57 am

      || amigo: Some humour from the king of the Jews.

      “ … Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the early morning arson attack on the Church of Loaves and Fishes located in the Galilee … “ … Hatred and intolerance has no place in Israeli society.” ||

      What a f*cking hypocrite.

      • a blah chick
        a blah chick on June 18, 2015, 3:13 pm

        We’re way beyond hypocrisy, he man’s a sociopath.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick on June 18, 2015, 10:58 am

      “Btw , have the Jewish criminal terrorists who burned a Palestinian child to death been brought to court yet.”

      The trial got suspended in November because Ben Yousef, the adult ringleader, wasn’t cooperating with his attorneys. I think it resumed about a month ago.

      As for the arson I thought I saw a report this morning that some yeshiva students were arrested. JPost says: “A police spokesperson said Thursday afternoon that 16 minors were taken in for investigation for potential involvement in the arson. They were later released with no charges. ”


      • amigo
        amigo on June 18, 2015, 2:09 pm

        “A police spokesperson said Thursday afternoon that 16 minors were taken in for investigation for potential involvement in the arson. They were later released with no charges. ” ABC

        Well , that,s it then, case closed.They do not have an “unsolved crimes ” file.They always find a suspect when Israeli Jews are harmed but when it involves crimes against non Jews the trail runs cold and the case is put in the closed file.

  15. talknic
    talknic on June 18, 2015, 11:28 am

    Netanyahu refuses U.S. request to disavow Michael Oren’s claims Obama abandoned Israel

  16. Peacekeeper
    Peacekeeper on June 18, 2015, 11:37 am

    America is finally realizing that the “disagreements” between Israel and the US over the past 23 years have not been issues between leaders but, rather, have been part of a purposefully organized action by Israel to undermine and weaken the office of the President of the US. Just as the President of Israel is a figurehead, and all military, political and economic power is concentrated in its Knesset, Israel will not be satisfied until the POTUS (regardless of political party) is rendered ineffectual and all decisions are made in a congress which is “guided” by its wealthy Pro-Israel sponsors.
    Clinton, W.Bush and Obama saw this, only Obama has had the guts to draw the line and give Israel a healthy dose of comeuppance. If America has abandoned Israel, it did so because Israel has been an abusive partner.

  17. iResistDe4iAm
    iResistDe4iAm on June 20, 2015, 10:21 am

    The Israel Lobby vehemently, categorically and unequivocally denies the unprecedented power of the Israel Lobby, EXCEPT when some members of the Lobby publicly reprimand the President of the United States.

    Extortion with a touch of chutzpah.

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