21 thoughts on “Shalem Center’s Michael Oren Likely Bibi’s New Ambassador to U.S. – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Don’t know a lot about him, but I was favorably impressed with him when I heard him speak at a small gathering in Jerusalem last fall. I suggest checking his background more carefully before giving voice to your anonymous reader, who quite incredibly calls him “the most self-righteous, self-aggrandizing idiot” he’s ever heard. (That reader must live a pretty sheltered life if Oren is the biggest idiot he’s heard.) I think this appointment (if the Maariv report is true) might actually turn out to be a pleasant surprise.

    1. Actually, while the anonymous reader’s evaluation may’ve had a touch of hyperbole since it was included within a personal e mail, I trust his views on this matter far more than yours. I’ve actually read Oren’s work & I’m distinctly unimpressed. He’s smart, there’s no doubt. But plenty of smart people can be total idiots & make a mess of everything they put them hand to (cf. Dick Cheney).

      Frankly, I’m shocked that you are a journalist & that you would countenance someone becoming an official IDF spokesperson for the Gaza war while continuing to write op ed pieces for U.S. media & NOT pointing out his role as a PR flack for the IDF. Even worse, the U.S. media didn’t note his role in publishing his work. I’m pretty disappointed in you note to be concerned about this conflict.

  2. This is not the first appointment of this type Netanyahu has made. In his first term he sent another academic, Dr Dore Gold to be the Israeli Ambassador to the UN. It is interesting to note that after the years when Sharon was the head of the Likud and he distanced himself from the intellectual “Right” in Israel, refusing to appoint them to positions like this (add to this his refusal to name Sharansky head of the Jewish Agency after first promising him he would), Netanyahu seems to be reaching out again to these people who have been marginalized in Israeli life for the last 10 years. This will no doubt help bring back a significant part of what people might call the “hard-line Right” into the political mainstream which has felt alienated from the entire Israeli body politic for the last decade. Recall that Sharon sent Olmert to MJ Rosenberg’s Israeli Policy Forum to make his infamous speech that Israeli can’t fight any more (odd for him to say that considering he ignited two wars with the Arabs within a period of 3 years). I would interpret Netanyahu’s appointments as a signal that this period of what many people consider to be having Israel’s “official face” reflecting post-Zionist thought as being over. Of course, deeds are more important than declarations.

    1. this period of what many people consider to be having Israel’s “official face” reflecting post-Zionist thought

      My but you ARE always good for a laugh, B.K. Olmert, Livni and Kadima reflect “post-Zionism.” Once again, this merely reflects your own extreme right-wing ideology & does not reflect an iota on the actual views of these individuals. To call them this is ridiculous & you smear yrself with such narishckeit.

  3. One note on “Shalem” – they are FAR to the right of the Likud party. Yes, they are sort of a think-tank, following the US model, but they are actually the ONLY political think-tank in Israel. Nobody else tried to replicate this model here (in Israel, that is).

  4. Be careful, here. America is not really “philo-Zionist,” but a good argument could be made that it is historically “philo-Semitic.”

  5. I’m one of Dr. Oren fans, I’ve attended many of his lecture and he’s definitely not an “idiot”. FYI, Oren wrote an article for the New Republic about getting called up for reserve duty during the operation, he didn’t hide it. You can’t expect him to identify himself as a spokesman prior to being drafted. He didn’t write any articles after that TNR piece, up until the end of the operation.

    1. You are indeed wrong, at the same time he wrote an op ed for the L.A. Times defending the Gaza war and did NOT mention that he was a government PR flack, nor did the Times in his bio attached to the article. Really low journalism. I’m surprised w. yr being one of his fans that you didn’t notice this article. It’s linked here in my blog in my post criticizing specifically this issue.

      1. Any child knows that op-eds are written at least a few hours before they’re published. Dr. Oren wrote on the 4th that he’s getting called up to the army, and on the same day the LA Times article appeared. There is a very good chance that the LA Times article, which also appeared in print (unlike the TNR piece), needed to be ready before the TNR piece was written, meaning, before Dr. Oren began his reserve duty. To claim that this makes him dishonest is stupid and wrong.

        1. Oren knew he’d be serving in Gaza before he announced it in print. So there goes yr argument.

          You read the copy at the LA TImes site. Does it even now mention his compromised position as an IDF spokesperson? I bet it doesn’t. So why hasn’t he added that info since?

          1. Were you ever called up for reserve duty in Israel on Tsav 8 that you know how this works? Because I have, and you get called up and expected to be at the base within two hours. No warning, and you better get there on time, or you’ll be holding your whole unit behind.
            If Dr. Oren didn’t write the article during his military service, the paper doesn’t have to mention it in the byline.

          2. The hasbara brigade speaks.

            That’s ridiculous. Oren was not a rifleman or tankist. He was a PR flack. He knew what his role would be even before there was a war. I’m sure he’s done this before & will likely do it again. But you haven’t bothered to explain why, even if what you claim is true (which it isn’t), neither the newspaper nor Oren noted his military role promoting the Israeli war in Gaza even after this became evident.

            This makes Oren an IDF propagandist without even the decency to notify his audience of his compromised position.

  6. “He’s written a fairly well-received book making the questionable claim that America’s traditions and core values have been philo-Zionist going back to our Puritan ancestors.”

    Maybe true, depending on definitions. It doesn’t mean “friendly to Jews” necessarily.

    “One of my readers who’s heard him speak publicly calls him in an entirely unscientific evaluation “the most self-righteous, self-aggrandizing idiot” he’s ever heard.”

    There’s a lot of competition for this title!

    Zhu Bajie

  7. Oren didn’t just don the uniform and participate mechanically after receiving the order. He volunteered to implement the Mitzna plan that the people voted against by voting for Likud whose leader then disenfranchised and implemented it against also the Likud charter and referendum that he swore to uphold. Why the Likud didn’t espel him I will never understand. And also, I will never understand how he was able to take the PMO with him, as if it were a desk accessory, when he moved his desk from Likud to Kadima when Kadima had never even been in an election. Oren is also morally bankrupt as he has been arguing for years that the Sinai withdrawal was a precedent for justifying not just the Katif keroush but also Yehudim from Yehuda. May Oren repent and work towards enforcing the right of return of those that come to kill you back to the homicidal, Hamite, peninsular homeland of their own name instead of the Jews from the land of their own name.

    1. Nice to have the extremist settler point of view incorporated here. I can understand why you hate Sharon so much that you can’t even bear to utter his name in the comment above. He must really enrage you. So what type of Israeli governement or party WOULD you support? One of those theocratic states governed by your “rabbis” Dov Wolpe & Baruch Marzel?

  8. Mr. Silverstein,

    It makes me sad when you use such conspiratorial language to describe everything and everyone involved with the “American-Israel machine.”


    You are a Jew. As a Jew, and an intellectual Jew, you have read Friedrich Nietzsche. I imagine you now have a desire to go “beyond good and evil.” You seem to believe the Zionists machine vilifies Muslims, and you have a respectable belief that the Zionist demonizations of all enemies reflects poorly on the Jews.

    Yet– let me say something. You have forgotten that Nietzsche himself in GS did not want to “accuse the accusers.” He wanted to see what is beautiful in things. Is there nothing beautiful about neoconservatives, Likudniks, the Shalem Center, AIPAC, and Dennis Ross? Isn’t there something moral about them as well?

    Your message is that these entities are evil and that you are good. You have not yet gone beyond good and evil.

    You are a leader and a respectable Jewish intellectual with the highest degrees. I think you can do better. I think you can be nobler.

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