Daniel Shapiro, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, has reacted to a former Israeli envoy’s recent op-ed article, in which Michael Oren wrote that President Barack Obama should be held responsible for the current strained relations between Israel and the United States. Shapiro said that Oren's claims in Monday's Wall Street Journal were “imaginary.”
Oren wrote that Obama had violated two core principles of the relationship between Israel and the United States -- "no daylight" and "no surprises," meaning that the two countries had an understanding that their disputes with one another would not be made public, and one nation would not blindside the other with its actions. Oren blamed Obama for deliberately spoiling the relation between the countries.
“Oren is now in a different position; he is a politician and a writer who wants to sell books,” Shapiro said, as the Times of Israel reported. “It’s imaginary.” He said that Oren’s account had not reflected the truth. Oren is going to release a book on U.S.-Israeli bilateral relations soon, titled “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide.”
According to Shapiro, the relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Obama was “effective, close and the kind that serves the interests of both countries.” Shapiro added that it was incorrect that Obama planned to meet with Netanyahu in July, but he expressed hope that the two leaders would meet soon.
According to Oren's op-ed, Obama asked Israel not to construct “a single brick” but did not make any substantial demands of the Palestinians. Oren said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused to be a part of negotiations. He added that Abbas had violated his commitments to the United States and sought statehood in the United Nations. Oren wrote that Abbas had not paid any price for violating commitments.
Meanwhile, Shapiro commented on the proposed Iran nuclear deal, saying he was unsure if it would be finalized by a June 30 deadline. He added that the United States would only accept an agreement that would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons for a decade. Shapiro said U.S. authorities would walk away if Iran did not provide appropriate information on its nuclear program to the U.N.