Oren to Netanyahu: Meet Obama

Former Israeli Ambassador praises Netanyahu's Congress speech but says he should also request a meeting with the President.

Hezki Baruch and Ben Ariel ,

Dr. Michael Oren
Dr. Michael Oren
Flash 90

Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Dr. Michael Oren, who is running for the Knesset with Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party, on Tuesday evening praised Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Oren said the speech was “delivered well”, adding he hoped “it succeeded in sparking a serious public debate in the United States about the merits of the deal that is being negotiated.”

Oren also added a call to Netanyahu to seek a meeting with President Barack Obama, despite the president’s refusal to meet him during his visit to Washington.

“Now that the speech is over, I recommend that PM Netanyahu request a one-on-one meeting with President Obama, even if just for a few minutes, in order to thank him for the Iron Dome and Arrow anti-missile systems as well as for America's generous defense aid,” he wrote on Facebook.

“This would be the first step in repairing our relations with the US, and would allow Netanyahu to return to Israel and start dealing with an existential threat no less important than Iran. A threat that he has tried to hide from public awareness—the cost of living, the housing crisis, and the social gaps here in Israel,” added Oren.

In that vein, Oren attacked Economy Minister Naftali Bennett for joining Netanyahu on his trip instead of staying in Israel and dealing with economy-related issues.

“Why was it necessary for Naftali Bennett to join Netanyahu? Is the Economy Minister finished his work in this country? Should he have not stayed here to take care of the hundreds of people being laid off in the south and of the factories that are being closed in the periphery?” said Oren.

"Rather than fulfill his duties as Minister of Economy, Bennett chose to fly to the United States at the expense of the taxpayer, give an impassioned speech at AIPAC, add fuel to the fire and do a very bad service to Netanyahu and to all of Israel,” he charged.

Oren’s party, Kulanu, has made social issues such as the housing crisis in Israel a key part of its election platform, and Oren’s comments against Bennett are in line with that platform.

Kulanu leader Kahlon has blamed Netanyahu, Bennett as well as former Finance Minister Yair Lapid for the high cost of housing in Israel.

He recently pointed out that " the cost of living is not solved in Congress and Munich - the cost of living is solved here: in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Haifa.”

Most Israelis trust Kahlon with Israel's financial portfolio, according to a recent survey - even if his Kulanu party has fallen to a mere 7 seats in some pre-election polls.