Then, from Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.
Then from policy and political staff of the White House.
The America-Israel relationship is not just fine. It is thriving.
And the only thing that stands to threaten it is us: the Jewish Community.
Like everyone else out there in email-land, we are daily recipients of the viral emails that go round the world with information that has great shock value and is in most cases filled with half-truths and fabrications. And if all we do is READ:DELETE or READ: FORWARD without any system of verification, we engage in the slow destruction of the bond we hold so dear – the bond of the Diaspora and Israel.
At a private dinner a few days ago at the Israeli Ambassador’s residence, held to honor Democratic Party Chairman Governor Tim Kaine for his dedication to connecting the Commonwealth of Virginia with Israel, Ambassador Oren wasted no time opening the discussion between the 16 of us. Using Israel as a political wedge weakens the relationship and damages Israel, he said.
Ambassador Oren was emphatic:
“In the majority of respects, relations between the United States and Israel are as good as under any administration, and better than some.”
Said Ambassador Oren:
“History has taught us not to be silent and to hold our leaders accountable. But making noise that deafens the truth endangers Israel and our future as a strong Jewish Diaspora community. I have more access to the highest levels in the US Government, including the NSC, than any of my predecessors ~ some of them are actually jealous!”
Said Ambassador Oren:
“Prime Minister Netanyahu was NOT snubbed recently at the White House”. “I was there, he told us. “The story was invented, it was untrue, and I was there.” He went on to explain for the thousandth time what happened last month: the non-state visit followed protocol: no photos, no media, no pomp, no circumstance. The Netanyahu-team, that included Ambassador Oren, entered the front door of the White House. The 2-hour meeting ended amicably. PM Netanyahu requested additional time to continue meeting with his staff INSIDE the White House. President Obama said yes – and excused himself to go to bed. After several hours, PM Bibi called President Obama and asked him to return. The President re-dressed and came downstairs to meet the Israeli team again. Near-midnight. The two allies parted on good terms. The next morning, the false story appeared in one Israeli newspaper and other media outlets picked up that story as “reported in the Israeli press” without verifying the facts.
Ambassador Oren detailed the important intellectual property rights agreement signed between Israel and the US eight weeks ago, and strongly emphasized President Obama’s true commitment to Israel by maintaining QME: the Qualitative Military Edge over its neighbors. This is an inside measure of military preparedness. Other examples the Ambassador enthusiastically cited were the lifting of legal and trade barriers thanks directly to President Obama. And today’s news that Israel has been unanimously voted into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) caps direct efforts by Presidents Bush and Obama to further the integration of Israel into the coalition of democratic nations. These kinds of things make quality of life and safety better for Israelis but don’t make sexy headlines.
Ambassador Oren stated without hesitation that the stories of the US siding with Palestinians at the UN were FALSE. And that stories of the US holding up Israel ‘s weapon-assistance are FALSE. He asked us, implored us, to spread the truth. Ambassador Oren pointed out that allies do not always agree on everything. But that America and Israel agree on most. It was nearly four hours of dinner and discussion.
Ambassador Oren said he was humbled by the courage President Obama demonstrated in his now-famous Cairo speech, and that few have noted the fact he was the first US President to say while standing on Arab soil directly to a Muslim audience, that “America ‘s strong bonds with Israel are well known. The bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied. …and denying that fact is baseless, it is ignorant and it is hateful.Threatening Israel with destruction- or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews- is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.”
As most on our ’email list’ know, we are committed to the success of this President and this Administration. We believe deep to our core that President Obama is sincere and honest and means what he says about the commitment to Israel and her security. We believe him when he told us two weeks ago in Miami that he spends more time on preventing a Nuclear Iran- than on any other single issue. We believe his top policy and political staff when they tell us the issues concerning Israel are top priority.
Sent by: Javier Y. Perl