In the past, Stand for Israel has mentioned and featured Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to Washington, D.C. We were delighted, then, that Mr. Oren was selected to join the Knesset in this week’s elections – the only American-born member:
From writing history books on the U.S. role in the Middle East to serving as Israel’s ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren seems to have spent most of his life building bridges between the Jewish state and his country of birth.
Oren, No. 4 on the slate of Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu and the only member of the incoming Knesset who was born in the United States, has been a key figure in drafting his party’s foreign policy. If Kulanu joins the new coalition, Oren could be a valuable asset for the government’s foreign policy team at a time when Israel must mend its frayed ties with the United States.
Contacted by Haaretz on Thursday, Oren said he was “proud” of Kulanu’s election results and of having been elected to the Knesset. He would not comment on the coalition talks but said he would be happy to contribute his foreign policy experience and knowledge, particularly in “not just mending but improving our relationship with the United States.”
During his ambassadorship Oren had to manage the deteriorating relationship between Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama, particularly their disagreements over continued Israeli construction in West Bank settlements and how to address Iran’s nuclear program.
In an interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg on the eve of Tuesday’s election, Oren said he worked to balance the deep polarization in U.S. politics and to retain bipartisan support for Israel…