The Obama Administration has been pressuring Jerusalem to criticize an article by former Ambassador to the US, MK Michael Oren (Kulanu), in which he accused US President Barack Obama of purposely causing a deterioration in US-Israel relations.
Arutz Sheva has learned that the US pressure – which began after the article appeared in the Wall Street Journal Monday – continued Thursday, but that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not intend to criticize Oren.
The Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry have remained silent despite US anger, as expressed by the State Department and by US Ambassador in Israel Dan Shapiro.
Shapiro has held meetings and contacts with senior officials in the Foreign Ministry as well as ministers – including the Prime Minister – in an attempt to make Israel apologize for the accusations, or at least make Oren apologize himself.
This pressure appears to have borne fruit in two cases: Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, head of the Kulanu party, said Wednesday that the statements are Oren's personal opinion and do not reflect the positions of the party, and Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) has also published criticism of Oren's statements.
However, Netanyahu's confidants said that he does not intend to respond to the article at all.
Oren's op-ed said President Barack Obama had dropped the two core principles guiding Israeli-US ties of "no daylight, no surprises."
Oren, who served as ambassador from 2009 to 2013, acknowledged that Israel blundered in some instances, but added that "while neither leader monopolized mistakes, only one leader made them deliberately."
"From the moment he entered office, Mr. Obama promoted an agenda of championing the Palestinian cause and achieving a nuclear accord with Iran. Such policies would have put him at odds with any Israeli leader," Oren wrote.