Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren in Manhattan today says, “We have to be ready to defend ourselves”


Today Michael Oren, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, spoke during High Holy Day services at Town & Village synagogue in Manhattan. Oren, who was profiled in today’s New York Times, which characterized him as the middle man in the public dispute between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations, gave a lovely speech about Israel’s contributions in the arts and science. I was in attendance and can report that Oren added toward the end of his speech a few sentences about Israelis’ right to defend themselves, saying, “We have to be ready to defend ourselves.”

Obama, in Manhattan tonight for a star-studded fundraiser with Beyonce and Jay-Z, has declined to see Netanyahu during the Israeli Prime Minister’s trip to the U.S. to address the United Nations this week, despite Netanyahu’s request and stated willingness to meet either in New York or travel to DC to see the President.

With Iran possibly months away from going nuclear and the U.S. President refusing to meet with Netanyahu, it is increasingly hard to fathom how Jewish-American voters with concern for Israel’s security can rationalize voting for Obama or feel assured that he would support Israel were the Jewish State to make the determination a strike on Iran’s nuclear program was necessary.

Obama also made time this week to appear on The Late Show With David Letterman.

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