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Oren sees ‘radical implosion’ of US Jewish support for Israel — then calls Palestinian polygamy ‘existential threat’

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The former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren says that there’s a “radical… implosion” of liberal American Jewish support for Israel because these Jews associate the country with “oppression.” But as if to reinforce the trend, virtually in the same breath Oren says that Israel faces an “existential threat” from Palestinian polygamy and it should enforce laws against the practice.

Oren, now a member of the Knesset for a centrist Jewish party, spoke to the Times of Israel in Jerusalem Sunday night. He said that while Israel is today less isolated diplomatically than at any time in its history, it is in an international war for its legitimacy and it is losing young liberal American Jews.

On American Jews… my concern is very deep. I saw two polls recently that showed not only a radical reduction in young American Jewish liberal support for Israel but an implosion, something like a 44 percent drop. We’re not doing a good job. We’re just not doing the right job.

He said Israel had failed to show young American Jews that Israel is a progressive society:

Why should the young American Jewish liberal person think that this place isn’t the coolest place on earth? We’re not dong a good job. We don’t sell ourselves well enough…. We only have one Jewish people, and we can’t afford to take any of it for granted.

Israel has failed to internalize that it has been in a serious war for its legitimacy since 2005, and the other side is better at framing the terms.

The other side has a very simple narrative, “occupation,” “colonialism,” “oppression,” and “apartheid.” OK– anybody with a second grade education can recite that.

By contrast, the pro-Israel side uses terms like “Startup nation, beaches, democracy, 3000 years of history, Holocaust,” but they lose out to the simple idea of “oppression” in Israel’s international image.

What resonates with a 19-year-old Jewish kid in the United States? It’s the oppression. He doesn’t know about 1948, he doesn’t know about 1947.

Oren says he has turned to poets and writers to come up with “something beautiful, an eight line mission statement for Israel that will make you cry.” And among the phrases in that mission: “Israel is home. Israel is family. Israel is community.” Good luck.

While Oren is selling Israel as a progressive society, he also railed against Arab birth rates, which are fueled by polygamy, in his view. He said this is one of seven existential threats to Israel.

Number six is what I called the hemorrhaging of sovereignty. The state of Israel does not enforce sovereignty over large segments of its population or large areas of its territory. I had written this [in a 2009 article for Commentary] after spending five years in the Negev and watching the Negev disappear. One reason the Negev disappeared, is Israel doesn’t enforce its laws against polygamy. It just doesn’t. And it doesn’t enforce its land laws. Police will say we can’t enforce this, we need a division to enforce this…

The same thing happened in Galilee. Not as bad as happened in the Negev.

These are existential threats. To say you have a law against polygamy and then not enforce it? What does that say about our–

He said that polygamy was also undermining Jewish Jerusalem. When Oren moved to south Jerusalem 40 years ago, the occupied Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan “had a few buildings,” he said. And there were Jews living there.  “I watched Silwan fill up with 700 illegal buildings. We didn’t enforce our sovereignty, we just didn’t.”

In Jewish neighborhoods, there is strict enforcement of building codes, he said.


Oren’s 2009 article for Commentary on existential threats doesn’t mention the word polygamy though it does mention Palestinian birth rates. Oren ought to know he can’t capture young liberal American Jews by railing against another culture’s customs. Oren’s focus is plainly racist: Israeli orthodox communities have some of the highest birth rates in that land and they don’t practice polygamy.

Thanks to James North. 

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48 Responses

  1. Ossinev
    June 2, 2017, 4:14 pm

    Bound to come along sooner or later = “Demographic Terrorism” along with all the other forms of “terrorism” that poor little size of New Jersey eternally threatened,eternally victimised Zioland is facing

    Oren is a racist moron. No surprise then that young enlightened American Jews are no longer swallowing his Zionist crap.

  2. JLewisDickerson
    June 2, 2017, 5:53 pm

    Michael Oren is a good example of why I seldom trust people who smile entirely too much!

    • JLewisDickerson
      June 2, 2017, 6:57 pm

      The Nun (2013)
      La religieuse (original title)
      1h 52min | Drama | January 2015 (USA)
      1760s France. Suzanne is shocked when her bourgeois family sends her to a convent. There she faces oppression and torment, leading her to fight back and expose the dehumanising effect of cloistered life.
      Director: Guillaume Nicloux
      Writers: Denis Diderot (novel), Guillaume Nicloux (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
      Stars: Pauline Etienne, Isabelle Huppert, Louise Bourgoin
      LINK –

  3. ckg
    June 2, 2017, 7:25 pm

    The Time of Israel reported five months ago that top rabbis had sanctioned polygamy to counter Arab demographic trends:

    Each year, a number of Israeli rabbis affiliated with the rabbinate give permission for dozens of Orthodox Jewish men to take a second wife, despite the fact that polygamy is illegal under state law, an expose by Channel 10 television revealed on Monday.

    An organization catering primarily to the Jewish Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox communities actively encourages and facilitates polygamy, claiming the practice will help reduce the number of single women within their communities and at the same time give Jews an edge in the demographic race against Arabs in Israel.

    • Mooser
      June 3, 2017, 12:45 pm

      “The Time of Israel reported five months ago that top rabbis had sanctioned polygamy”

      This is outrageous! Jewish polygamy? What the hell is so wrong with our traditional serial monogamy?

  4. JosephA
    June 3, 2017, 12:15 am

    Oren sounds like a rather bluntly racist Moron.

  5. Citizen
    June 3, 2017, 12:57 am

    Scary, scary, this Oren guy….

  6. Maghlawatan
    June 3, 2017, 2:43 am

    Why is legitimacy still an issue for Israel 3 generations after it was founded? Why didn’t Oren address this issue when he was in a position to do so?

    • echinococcus
      June 4, 2017, 8:19 am

      Why is legitimacy still an issue

      That isn’t the kind of question you ask a NaZionist, especially a caveman like self-styled Oren né plain Bornstein.

      The only answer, ever, is that colonial invasion was outlawed before the Zionist abomination started and cannot ever be legitimized, duh. If the uniformed ZZ Oren-Schmoren addressed the issue, the first act of addressing it would be harakiri.

      • pabelmont
        June 4, 2017, 9:58 am

        echinococcus: Just so. Before 1950, colonialism was widely regarded as OK (of course, not among the colonized; you cannot please everyone!) (Law is the codification by the powerful of the desires for regularity and protection of the powers of the powerful.) (History is usually the codification by the winners of historical conflicts.)

        When Brits landed in North America (Jamestown: 1607) and began the experiment that led to today’s USA — and when Spaniards landed in the Americas after 1492 and wiped out or enslaved so many, and stole much — the laws and practices of the colonizing nations and Vatican of the time endorsed regarding indigenes as having no rights or being non-human or whatever other POV served to erase otherwise decent human moral viewpoints.

        Anti-colonialism seems to have taken root after WWII. Israel was formed by colonial (invasive and expulsive) war AFTER the (apparent) change in legal outlook. (Of course, politics makes it possible for any law to be overlooked if inconvenient.)

      • Sibiriak
        June 4, 2017, 10:34 am

        The definitive shift against colonialism in international law occurred in 1960.

        1960 marked at turning point in the policy of the General Assembly towards colonial self- determination. At this time the de-colonisation process had gained momentum, with seventeen new states taking up their seats that year.

        On 23 September 1960 Soviet Chairman Nikita Khrushchev presented the Assembly with a draft declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples. This was taken up and on 28 November, when debate opened on the issue, twenty- five Asian and African states submitted their own declaration on colonial independence. This draft drew on resolutions of the Afro-Asian conference in Bandung in 1955 and the first and second conferences of African states at Accra and Addis Ababa in 1958 and June 1960.

        14 On December it was adopted without changes, by 89 votes to 0, with 9 abstentions, as the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples , GA Res. 1514(XV).

        The Colonial Independence Declaration has been called the “Magna Charta” of decolonisation. And it is a landmark document. If the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen 1789 signalled the emergence of nationalism as a political force, the Colonial Independence Declaration marked its global conquest.

        It was also a watershed, which specifically repudiated many of the basic assumptions in earlier instruments, like the UN Charter. In particular, size and development were no longer held to be prerequisites for statehood, at least for trust and non -self-governing territories.

        As a resolution of the UN General Assembly, the Declaration, unlike the UN Charter or the Covenants, is not formally legally binding. Nonetheless, it has been considered by the International Court of Justice in determining international law in the Namibia and Western Sahara advisory opinions. [emphasis added]


        James Summers, “The Idea of the People: The Right of Self-Determination, Nationalism and the Legitimacy of International Law

      • Sibiriak
        June 4, 2017, 10:46 am

        Correction: “On 14 December it was adopted…”

  7. Maghlawatan
    June 3, 2017, 2:46 am

    “We only have one Jewish people, and we can’t afford to take any of it for granted. ”

    Calling Mooser. Please make yourself known to reception.

  8. CigarGod
    June 3, 2017, 9:20 am

    Love it.
    In other words, Israel needs a more beautiful propaganda effort, one that justifies oppression in a dreamy mom, apple pie and Hank Greenberg, indica smoking couch sitter kind of way.

  9. sehsane
    June 3, 2017, 10:53 am

    This out and out racist should take time out and listen to what he just said. He wants to outlaw polygamy in order to put a lid on Palestinian population explosion. If only he takes a little time to look at statistics, he will discover that polygamy is now a rarity in the Palestinian society and that its practice has no meaningful impact on its population growth. Yet, in his Nazi mind it seems that the very existence of Palestinians is an existential threat that requires remedy. So one should not be surprised if he starts day dreaming about a final solution: the mass sterilization of Palestinians.

    • Misterioso
      June 3, 2017, 1:35 pm


      Well and truly stated!!

      Although, for obvious reasons, he does not mention it, Oren’s fear of the Palestinians winning the demographic war stems mainly from the fact that Jewish immigration to Israel is less than a trickle while emigration is steadily increasing. Of course, his fear is enhanced by the fact that Palestinian women have one of the world’s highest fertility rates. Palestinian Arabs already outnumber Jews between the River and the Sea and over 25% of the population of Israel proper (i.e., west of the “green line”) is comprised of non-Jews and it is also the most rapidly growing segment. The handwriting is on the wall.

      • pabelmont
        June 4, 2017, 10:04 am

        Mooser: From your wall to G-d’s ear, so to speak. (Is H- listening?) Anyhow, losing a demographic contest doesn’t frighten Israel whatever some may say. They have apartheid and they have the bomb (or beum?) (How do they pronounce “berm” in Boston?)

      • echinococcus
        June 4, 2017, 11:02 am

        What “handwriting”? Let’s not get swiped by the Zionist leadership propaganda wave intended specifically for their boobies. Demographic threat my bottom. There is no threat at all. So the Palestinians are a majority in Palestine. So what? They were the overwhelming majority even after 50 years of Zionist invasion; that was taken care of by “ethnic cleansing”, with the help of their colonialist daddy the GB.

        Now it will not even be felt as much as a bump on the road, thanks to the US, the Zionists’ new sugardaddy and pimp. South Africa always had the “demographic threat”, so what –they prospered as long as they had the colonialist powers’ full support.

        I’m not saying it’s the same situation, it’s not. For one thing, Zionism expressly excludes goys except as a marginal minority of slaves (the margin as last defined was 15%) and anything less than the entire territory. So while they push the “demographic threat” propaganda out of one side of their mouth to inflame their stupid popular basis, they prepare to accelerate the genocide as needed.

        Any out there who expect some magic intervention from heaven to stop the Zionists, who currently own the US, to refrain from an Apartheid regime assorted with varying-speed genocide need a hairwash.

  10. James Canning
    James Canning
    June 3, 2017, 3:12 pm

    If Israel continues its failure to end the occupation, what does it expect to do with the ever-growing Palestinian population?

    • Maghlawatan
      June 5, 2017, 7:48 am

      I don’t think anyone has thought about that.

    • eljay
      June 5, 2017, 9:14 am

      || James Canning: If Israel continues its failure to end the occupation, what does it expect to do with the ever-growing Palestinian population? ||

      Zionists believe in “necessary evil” (as long as they’re on the doing end and not the receiving end). I’m sure when the time comes they’ll get creative.

  11. Maghlawatan
    June 3, 2017, 8:01 pm

    Oren is vicious and barely house trained. Most of his peers are too. It always becomes visible in war when the mask slips .
    Zionism is an attempt to subvert time and space. With considerable collateral damage. Cos there is no such thing as a free lunch. Or a free country for a people with no land. Israel was a deal with Satan. Give me your children for the land.

  12. Naftush
    June 4, 2017, 3:01 am

    A-J support for Israel is falling because A-J support for anything Jewish is falling, a fortiori for the largest Jewish project since Moses. Before one explores any characteristic of Israel that A-Js might object to, start with its being a state (and a nation-state at that). Israel’s existence defies the A-J majority’s repudiation of Jewish nationhood (cf. the Pittsburgh Platform) and evokes hostility on these grounds alone. That’s before, and irrespective of, any decision that an Israeli government makes.

    • annie
      June 4, 2017, 3:20 am

      largest Jewish project since Moses.


      • Mooser
        June 4, 2017, 11:33 am

        “largest Jewish project since Moses.”

        Big Bertha is Jewish, like Robert Moses? Who knew?

  13. Maghlawatan
    June 4, 2017, 5:14 am

    I think it is interesting that Oren admits that Israel has all the attraction of dogshit to many young Jews. The news coming out of Israel is uniformly dispiriting. Young American Jews don’t tend to be nihilist.

    The Trump win last year exposed the chasm between AIPAC and ordinary Jews. AIPAC is a court power vehicle that will cosy up to antisemitism if it means access. Ordinary Jews didn’t like Bannon”s videos and were turned off by people like Boteach ingratiating themselves. Zionism has nothing to offer US Jews. This is a serious structural problem.

    • pabelmont
      June 4, 2017, 10:08 am

      Mag: Is your reading consistent with apparent popularity of Birthright trips and the yelling and screaming and self-declared frightened pro-Israel Jews on American campuses? (Or are these all small minority if well financed occurrences?)

      • Maghlawatan
        June 4, 2017, 10:54 am

        How many kids do Birthright? Max 5000 per annum.
        American Jews are not educated to hate. Maybe some MBTI type S American Jews are attracted to Israel from a law n order perspective but imo the cultural gap is too wide. It’s like the difference between Art Garfunkel and Naftali Bennett.

  14. Ossinev
    June 4, 2017, 7:37 am

    “the largest Jewish project since Moses”. That would be the parting of the Red Sea then.
    They just don`t make prophets like that any more.

  15. catalan
    June 4, 2017, 11:44 am

    The definitive shift against colonialism in international law occurred in 1960. – Sibiriak
    I was thinking what is the reason that sibiriak always expresses the official Russian government line. And it struck me that he has basically disclosed who he is, after all how many Americans immigrate to Russia? So he has no choice but to tow the line of Putin otherwise he would lose his citizenship. It is entirely possible that he has now begun believing that Putin and Assad are great guys due to the Stockholm syndrome. There is also evidence that people lie best when they believe their own lies. He reminds me of all the true believers in Bulgaria in the communist days. In his case though it is very obvious that he has no choice, Putin is not known to treat this type of stuff lightly and we all know his goons monitor boards like this one.

    • Mooser
      June 4, 2017, 12:27 pm

      “catalan”, you should really take up snitching and denouncing. Go “tow the line”.

      • echinococcus
        June 4, 2017, 4:45 pm


        You are correct as to your approximate date of the about-turn by the main colonial powers. Effectively, the powerful end-of-war and postwar anticolonial rebellion did force its very enemies to pay lip service to decolonization, what with the success of the Indian independence, the already sealed future of Japanese-occupied colonies, the already certain success in Algeria, etc. etc.

        One thing that should not be overlooked is that before the colonialist powers subscribed to decolonization, the foundation of the UN and the charter it was based on were already anticolonialist in essence, and the General Assembly membership was already mostly anticolonial. In fact, in all general histories the turning point is indicated as being around 1945.
        The one exception, again, was the Zionist entity.

      • RoHa
        June 5, 2017, 1:35 am

        Since I was living in what had been part of the British Empire, I remember the process of decolonization through the mid 50s to the 60s. Quite a few bits of the Empire had been let go before 1960 (Transjordan, India, Ceylon, Burma, Newfoundland, Malaya, Gold Coast, Sudan) but 1960 was the year of Macmillan’s “wind of change” speech, and independence for the rest of Britain’s African colonies quickly followed.

      • Keith
        June 5, 2017, 12:37 pm

        ROHA- “…independence for the rest of Britain’s African colonies quickly followed.”

        Political independence perhaps, however, direct rule colonialism has been replaced by indirect rule neocolonialism as financial and other economic ties have secured these former colonies into the global network of financial control and subservience to Western economic needs and desires.

      • Mooser
        June 5, 2017, 4:04 pm

        “, I remember the process of decolonization through the mid 50s to the 60s “

        Say farewell to the trumpets!
        You will hear them no more.
        But their sweet sad silvery echoes
        Will call to you still
        Through the half-closed door.

      • echinococcus
        June 5, 2017, 4:15 pm

        Quite so, Keith, but lip service, even if coming from the worst enemy of a specific advancement, is extremely important. I think that most may agree that the colonialist criminals came to denounce colonialism as if it were their enemy, too, in 1960 –and consolidated the imperialist enslavement of their ex-colonies. The important thing for us is that the use of anticolonialist, humanitarian rhetoric even by the very colonialists was current since the war; the creation of the Zionist entity by these same powers, just while India was gaining its independence, was a total violation of the UN Charter and had to be presented to the world using anticolonialist gobbledygook to justify the creation of yet one more colony.

      • annie
        June 5, 2017, 4:55 pm

        “catalan”, you should really take up snitching and denouncing

        mooser, who knew “The definitive shift against colonialism in international law occurred in 1960” was an “official Russian government line”! it’s frequently hard to decipher the relevant bone of contention w/catalan thru all that dreadful oozing ad hominem crutchy vibe.

      • RoHa
        June 5, 2017, 6:43 pm

        They do, Mooser. They do.

      • Mooser
        June 6, 2017, 11:16 am

        “They do Mooser. They do”

        Nod-nod, wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

      • gamal
        June 6, 2017, 11:51 am

        “Through the half-closed door.”



        ok lets be explicit, like Hamish, fully explained so that the door may be flung open

        come all you at home with freedom

        “Roch the win i the clear day’s dawin
        Blaws the clouds heilster-gowdie owre the bay
        But thair’s mair nor a roch win blawin
        Thro the Great Glen o the warl the day”

        It’s a rough wind in the clear day’s dawning
        Blows the clouds head-over-heels across the bay
        But there’s more than a rough wind blowing
        Through the Great Glen of the world today

        the Great Glen is the rift valley which runs diagonally across Scotland, roughly separating Highland and Lowland Scotland, and is used here as a symbol of division, inequality, racism, exploitation and prejudice

        “It’s a thocht that wad gar our rottans”

        It’s a thought that would make our rodents,

        in this context “rottans” can also be interpreted as “vermin”; it is a reference to opportunists, exploiters

        “Aa thae rogues that gang gallus fresh an gay
        Tak the road an seek ither loanins
        Wi thair ill-ploys tae sport an play”

        All those rogues who strut and swagger,
        Take the road and seek other pastures
        To carry out their wicked schemes

        “Nae mair will our bonnie callants
        Merch tae war whan our braggarts crousely craw”

        No more will our fine young men
        March to war at the behest of jingoists and imperialists

        “crousely craw” has echoes of the carrion crow, the scavenger; these two lines are refering to the number of young Scots who joined the British Army out of dire economic necessity and were sent to colonised nations to do unto them what had previously been done unto us

        “Nor wee weans frae pitheid an clachan
        Murn the ships sailin doun the Broomielaw”

        Nor will young children from mining communities and rural hamlets
        Mourn the ships sailing off down the River Clyde

        this reference to “ships sailing” carries a double image, that of the emigrant ships and also of warships. The images of mining and rural communities are used to bring together industrial and rural Scotland as one.

        “Broken faimilies in launs we’ve hairriet
        Will curse “Scotlan the Brave” nae mair, nae mair”

        Broken families in lands we’ve helped to oppress
        will never again have reason to curse the sound of advancing Scots

        here “Scotland the Brave” refers to the sound of bagpipes announcing the arrival of Scots troops, a sound which came to be feared throughout the British Empire

        “Black an white ane-til-ither mairriet
        Mak the vile barracks o thair maisters bare”

        Black and white, united in friendship and marriage,
        Will result in the military garrisons being adandoned and empty

        i.e., will bring an end to Imperialism.

        “Sae come aa ye at hame wi freedom”

        So come all you who love freedom

        “at hame wi”, literally “at home with” can have several meanings in this context – who live with, who love, who already have

        “Never heed whit the houdies croak for Doom”

        Pay no attention to the prophets of doom

        the “houdie” is another reference to the carrion crow

        “In yer hous aa the bairns o Aidam
        Will fin breid, barley-bree an paintit room”

        In your house all the children of Adam
        Will be welcomed with food, drink and hospitality

        the unwritten laws of hospitality are historically sacred to the Scots

        “Whan MacLean meets wi’s friens in Springburn”

        When the spirit of John MacLean returns to his people

        John MacLean, Glasgow schoolteacher and anti-imperialist

        “Aa thae roses an geeans will turn tae blume
        An a black lad frae yont Nyanga
        Dings the fell gallows o the burghers doun”
        All the flowers will blossom
        And black Africa will bring crashing down
        All Imperialism’s dreadful apparatus of oppression
        “dings doun”, literally “tears down”

        It is in the nature of Imperialism that it turns men in to beasts, even if they constantly lament the fate of damsels in distress and the barbarity of those they dominate and slaughter, just a little banter.

    • Sibiriak
      June 4, 2017, 12:50 pm

      catalan: The definitive shift against colonialism in international law occurred in 1960. – Sibiriak I was thinking what is the reason that sibiriak always expresses the official Russian government line.
      The “official Russian government line” ?? Hardly. I quoted a mainstream British international law expert, James Summers.


      otherwise he would lose his citizenship.

      Huh? I’m a U.S. citizen and will remain so.

      • catalan
        June 5, 2017, 12:12 pm

        It’s “toe the line”, not “tow the line”.

        Thank you RoHa. As I wrote it, I began thinking about it and started conjuring images of a bunch of people towing some line (while fishing?) together and this did not make sense because towing is a voluntary action and I was trying to show something as forced. But then you know how it is once you hit the “post comment” button.
        Either way, the point stays that it would be hard for anyone in Russia to say anything against Putin. He could probably get the IP address of anyone here though and if so wished, shut any of us up. One has to be cautious and avoid strange car accidents.

      • Keith
        June 5, 2017, 12:51 pm

        CATALAN- “Either way, the point stays that it would be hard for anyone in Russia to say anything against Putin.”

        Utterly preposterous comment.

        CATALAN- “He could probably get the IP address of anyone here though and if so wished, shut any of us up.”

        He works for the CIA? Jeez, have your comments gone downhill of late.

      • Sibiriak
        June 5, 2017, 1:25 pm

        Putin is a horrifically evil authoritarian ruler who is out to destroy Western civilization.

      • echinococcus
        June 5, 2017, 1:57 pm


        Putin is a horrifically evil authoritarian ruler who is out to destroy Western civilization.

        Sounds just like our rulers, with the difference that ours don’t care which compass point of civilization they destroy –as long as it is civilization they’re destroying. As long as Mr Putin enforces a minimum of respect of international law, he remains by far the lesser “evil” anyway.

        Thanks for the laugh.

        At any rate, thanks for the laugh

      • Mooser
        June 5, 2017, 4:21 pm

        “Putin is a horrifically evil authoritarian ruler who is out to destroy Western civilization.”

        Maybe he will change now that he has company.

      • Mooser
        June 6, 2017, 1:44 pm

        “Huh? I’m a U.S. citizen and will remain so.”

        And you knew what a FRS is! That’s good enough for me.

    • RoHa
      June 5, 2017, 12:24 am

      It’s “toe the line”, not “tow the line”. The idiom refers to RN sailors standing rigidly with their toes on a line on the deck while an officer decides how many lashes to give to defaulters.

      Nothing to do with towing.

      I bet Putin knows that.

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