Daily Israel Report

Oren: Israel is a 'Real Country', Not an 'Issue'

Amb. Oren: American Jewry must overcome bitter divisiveness stemming from Israel being seen “as an issue" rather than “a real country.”
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 11/15/2012, 1:44 AM

Michael B. Oren
Michael B. Oren
צילום: פלאש 90

American Jewry must overcome the bitter divisiveness stemming from Israel being seen “as an issue, as a society either to be idealized, demonized, or ignored” rather than “a real country,” said Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren on Tuesday, JNS reported.

Speaking to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) General Assembly in Baltimore, explained that the American and Israeli Jewish communities should be asking themselves not how they can coexist, but instead how they can “co-flourish.”

Regarding the political polarization of American Jewry, Oren recalled the time he tried to arrange a meeting between American Jewish Republican activists and American Jewish Democratic activists.

“Once, I tried,” he said. “Never again.”

Oren said that before criticizing each other, American and Israeli Jews “must pause to clarify.”

“To succeed we must reexamine some of our most basic assumptions,” he said.

The ambassador asserted that Israelis should acknowledge the American-Jewish experience as a source of enrichment for Israeli Jewry, while American Jews should respect Israel as a polity of human beings who must make life-and-death decisions and bear the consequence of those decisions, according to JNS.