maandag 4 mei 2009

Historicus Michael Oren wordt Israelische ambassadeur in VS

Een ambassadeurspost gaat wellicht niet goed samen met het publiceren van historische artikelen en boeken over Israel en het Israelisch-Arabische conflict. Gaat Oren analoog aan Ronald Plasterk zijn wetenschappelijke en publicitaire werk stilleggen gedurende zijn ambassadeurschap?

Michael Oren is possibly the best man for the job of Israel ambassador to the United States, though he has no diplomatic experience. Media reports variously portray Oren variously as a "neocon" or a peacenik. Obviously, both assessments could not be correct, and either one is an oversimplification of a complex three-dimensional personality. Oren is a good speaker as well as being an accomplished historian. He has written "Six Days of War" and "Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East." The first book demonstrated a familiarity with how Israel "works" as well as an understanding of how to present it to a foreign audience. The second demonstrated an understanding of how American diplomacy "works" and of evolving American understanding of the Middle East. In other words, Oren speaks both Israeli and American. In the possibly difficult days ahead with the Obama administration, Oren might be best qualified to win American public support for Israeli positions and to put them in langauge that American officials can understand and identify with, as well as being able to read and translate the United States for the Netanyahu government.
However, promise is one thing and fullfilment is another. It would no doubt have been better if Oren had served in some lesser diplomatic post before being tapped for the most critical diplomatic posting for Israel, at a most critical time.  - (A.I.)
Last update - 19:37 02/05/2009       
Netanyahu candidate Michael Oren tapped as U.S. envoy
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent
Dr. Michael Oren is set to be appointed Israeli ambassador to Washington after Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman added his endorsement over the weekend.
Oren, who was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's candidate for the position, received the endorsement following separate meetings with Netanyahu and Lieberman on Thursday.
The cabinet must now approve the appointment at its weekly meeting Sunday to set the decision in stone. Oren would then take up the position before Netanyahu's expected meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on May 18 or 19.
Oren, a visiting Georgetown University professor, said in a lecture there last month, "The only alternative for Israel to save itself as a Jewish state is by unilaterally withdrawing from the West Bank and evacuating most of the settlements."
He beat several high-profile candidates for the position, including ex-Likud MK Zalman Shoval, who served twice before as ambassador to the United States, Dr. Dore Gold, who served as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations from 1997 to 1999, and Alon Pinkas, who served as Consul General in New York from 2000 to 2004.

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