Check out Israeli diplomat Michael Oren’s rambling, baffling video message for the new year that has gone viral and drawn a lot of snark on line. Oren, named the deputy minister for diplomacy by Benjamin Netanyahu in August, confesses that he was a weird, different kid who liked to run around in the woods, but that’s because he was Jewish; and now Israel is a weird country, but at the same time it’s the only “normal country in an abnormal neighborhood.”
“We are a different people, a people unafraid of being different, or being called weird. Indeed, we are proud of it.”
Oren is getting his wish!
Here are some of the highlights, including the delusional and very undiplomatic claim in our headline:
Israel has proven that tradition can coexist with modernity…. We have practically eliminated the plague of drought. We are the country that exports wine to France, caviar to Russia, gluten-free pasta to Italy, and cherry tomatoes to the United States…
Many modern societies today are unsure of how they can defend themselves, or even whether their nations are worth fighting for. I recently hosted a French parliamentary delegation and the leaders of the delegation asked me in all seriousness, Where are your troops? Because if you go to Paris today, you go to Brussels, it looks like an armed camp. But Tel Aviv– Tel Aviv looks like, you know, fun! Where are the troops? Our European friends have not yet figured out what Israel has long known, that a modern liberal society can morally, humanely stand up for itself, and fight. And the Israeli Defense Forces are more than twice as large as the French and British armies combined…
We are a normal people living in the world’s most abnormal neighborhood.
And in Israel as in so many other countries including the United States discrimination remains a scourge which must be eradicated.
No, Israel is not perfect, but the Jewish state does provide a powerful antidote to neo-paganism.
The nation that stands apart. Yet while standing apart, that nation serves as an example for an alienated, threatened and often morally confused world. Every day Israel shows that world how to balance tradition and modernity, security and freedom, exceptionalism and diversity, the love of one’s own people with compassion for others….
As a kid, I was different. I confess, as a kid, I was weird. But perhaps that’s why I felt so Jewish. We are a different people, a people unafraid of being different, or being called weird. Indeed, we are proud of it. We are a people who crosses over, to tradition, to faith, to security and to righteousness. A people who ask God, how best we can continue to serve…
Some of the commentary:
MK Michael Oren is a decent man in want of a decent media team. https://t.co/9hicg88kIr
— Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) October 6, 2016
Evidence that Michael Oren (a) has a personality disorder and (b) never learned to speak Hebrew. Voila. https://t.co/0knJBvmKUy
— Lisa Goldman (@lisang) October 4, 2016
Michael Oren’s Rosh Hashanah video is unintentionally hilarious. Impossible not to watch without asking yourself, wtf?
— Jessica – جيسيكا (@jessica_steele7) October 5, 2016
Israel has the world’s highest refugee rejection rate & its diplomacy minister says this makes it a “global leader” https://t.co/hAFbZLga9X
— David Sheen (@davidsheen) October 4, 2016