Fmr Israeli Envoy's Candid Book Ruffles US Feathers
WASHINGTON -- Over the past six years, as the relationship between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deteriorated, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren wrote a book that has some in the Obama administration crying foul.
Entitled, Ally: My Journey across the American-Israeli Divide, the book provides an insider's look into the relationship between the two allies.
"On one hand, the relationship has never been better," Oren told CBN News. "Support for Israel in this country is at an all-time high."
"We have a certain difficult and complex relationship with this administration because the president had a worldview, the worldview included very open support for the Palestinian cause, an open attempt to reconcile with Iran, and Iran wants to destroy us so there's already a problem," he explained.
'It's a Bad Deal'
The book's release coincided with U.S.-led negotiations on Iran's nuclear weapons program and what many believe is its goal to build a nuclear bomb.
"The deal on the table now, which enables Iran to keep all of its nuclear infrastructure, its centrifuges, its facilities, that doesn't include research and development, they could make more advanced machinery that would enrich uranium even faster," Oren said. "It doesn't include the missiles; it's not linked to Iran's behavior. Iran is the world's largest sponsor of state terrorism."
"If the agreement is not attached or linked in any way to a change in Iran's behavior, then it's a bad deal and it endangers my country," he continued. "But beyond that it will endanger America and people have to internalize that."
"But understand, they have missiles, and those missiles will be able to reach this studio in a matter of years," Oren warned. "And those missiles have one purpose and one purpose only and that is to carry a nuclear warhead."
Many wonder whether the damage wrought U.S.-Israeli relations be repaired.
"One of the most cardinal things that we can do is restore these two principles that are called "no daylight" and "no surprises," Oren told CBN News. "No daylight means we can disagree on all sorts of things -- and two countries, even allies, will disagree."
"But it's very important that we don't have our disagreements out in front of the world because our enemies, our common enemies, will interpret that as weakness and they'll use it against us," he said.
Oren is now serving as a member of the Israeli Knesset, where to process of legislating is markedly different than in the U.S.
"We have a different political culture in the Knesset. We yell and scream, something you'd never think of doing in Congress," he explained. "People don't curse one another, but I think if the seats weren't screwed down people would be throwing them."
"All this is happening a two-hour drive from ISIS, the distance between where we are sitting and Philadelphia," Oren noted. "And the other extraordinary thing is I'm probably the only person in the room that thinks this is extraordinary because everyone thinks it's the most normal thing in the world."
Oren's Greatest Accomplishment
Oren says his greatest accomplishment, his greatest joy, is having Israeli grandchildren.
"I just think that I'm the luckiest man going to be alive in history at this moment," he told CBN News. "And to come to this country, Israel, and to start with nothing - I came with a backpack."
"And back then it was, 40 years ago, it was like the Wild West and to build a family and to look at these two Israeli grandchildren, it's my greatest accomplishment in life," he concluded.