Sunday, May 03, 2009

Michael Oren appointed US Ambassador

From THE JERUSALEM POST, May. 2, 2009:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman are appointing Michael Oren as Israel's ambassador to the United States, Israel Radio reported Saturday evening.

Oren will replace Ambassador Sallai Meridor in the coming weeks, the report said.

...Oren, author of Six Days of War, is admired by Netanyahu's staff for his expertise on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He has also published numerous articles on Israeli foreign policy.

Currently a professor in the Jewish civilization program at Georgetown University, and a Senior Fellow in the Shalem Center - a Jerusalem think tank, Oren has frequently served as an IDF spokesman dealing with the foreign media during recent military campaigns.

...US Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, welcomed the appointment, predicting that Oren would be "an outstanding ambassador for Israel, our strongest democratic partner in this troubled region."

Also from his website:
Michael B. Oren is a Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center, a Jerusalem-based research facility, where he specializes in the diplomatic and military history of the Middle East. He has written extensively for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic, of which he is a contributing editor, and has been interviewed on CNN, Fox, The Charlie Rose Show, The Daily Show, and Today. He is the CBS Middle East expert.

A graduate of Princeton and Columbia, Dr. Oren has received fellowships from the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, and from the British and Canadian governments. He was a Lady Davis Fellow of Hebrew University and a Moshe Dayan Fellow at Tel-Aviv University. In 2006, he was a visiting professor at Harvard and Yale, returning to Yale in 2007. He has testified before Congress on Middle Eastern affairs and briefed the White House.

Dr. Oren is the author of Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, published in 2002 by Oxford University Press. The book was a New York Times bestseller, and won the Los Angeles Times’ History Book of the Year prize and the National Jewish Book Award. His most recent book, Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present, was eight weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and won a Council for the Humanities Book Award.

Raised in New Jersey, where he was an activist in Zionist youth movements and a gold medal winning athlete in the Maccabia Games, Michael Oren moved to Israel in the 1970s. He served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, in the paratroopers in the first Lebanon War, and as a liaison with the U.S. Sixth Fleet during the Gulf War, and an army spokesman in the second Lebanon War. He acted as a representative of the Prime Minister’s Office to Jewish refuseniks in the Soviet Union, and as an advisor to Israel’s delegation to the United Nations. He was the director of Inter-Religious Affairs in the government of Yitzhak Rabin. Michael Oren lives in Jerusalem with his wife and three children.
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