Israel's Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon reportedly apologized to the United States for the withering criticism of President Barack Obama by a former Israeli ambassador.
The former envoy, Michael Oren, who's written a book on his years as Israel's ambassador to the United States from 2009-2013 — a period of strained relations between Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — wrote in a Wall Street Journal piece
that Obama abandoned Israel by defying "two core principles of Israel's alliance with America."
"The first principle was 'no daylight'," Oren writes in the Tuesday commentary. "The U.S. and Israel always could disagree but never openly ... The other core principle was 'no surprises.' President Obama discarded it in his first meeting with Mr. Netanyahu, in May 2009, by abruptly demanding a settlement freeze and Israeli acceptance of the two-state solution. The following month the president traveled to the Middle East, pointedly skipping Israel and addressing the Muslim world from Cairo" where he expressed "unprecedented support for the Palestinians and its recognition of Iran’s right to nuclear power, without consulting Israel."
A television news outlet reports Kahlon, the founder of the Kulanu party, sent a letter to Obama administration officials saying the views of Oren — currently a Kulanu member in the Knesset — don't represent those of the party, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro also took sharp aim at Oren's remarks, declaring his description of US-Israel ties under Obama "does not reflect the truth," and blasting the former ambassador as a "politician and an author who wants to sell books," the Jerusalem Post reports.
In an Army Radio interview, Shapiro slammed Oren's account as an "imaginary version" of events, saying he does "not agree with those who say that we do not have close coordination, and were not always in very close professional contact with the Israeli government, including the relationship between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu," the Jerusalem Post reports.
"I can say as an ambassador that sometimes ambassadors have a very limited view of the conversations between the leaders, and his description does not reflect the truth about what happened," Shapiro said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
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