New York Times denying that Israel is "interfering" in the American presidential campaign.
Oren's letter was reported in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz on April 12, under the headline:
"Israeli ambassador to New York Times: Netanyahu does not interfere in U.S. elections"
This Ha'aretz headline was followed by a sub headline, stating:
"Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador in Washington, submits letter to the editor to NYT, complaining about an article detailing the close relationship between Netanyahu and likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney."
The problem with Oren's attack is that the Times story did not use the term "interfering." The ambassador denies something the story does not claim.
Oren's letter skillfully ignores the facts of the story under a theoretical cloud of his own making. He also manages to bring attention of his Israeli public to a story which promises good things ahead if Romney is elected.
The facts of the Times story which Oren distorts are that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Republican presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, have a long-standing personal relationship.
The implication of the Times story is that if Romney is elected US president, the Israeli Prime Minister will have a pal in the White House. To Israelis and to Israeli loyalists in the US, this is good news.
By calling attention to the story with his faux outrage, the Ambassador is playing the role of police official Captain Renault (Claude Rains) who confronts his friend, nightclub owner, Rick (Humphrey Bogart) in the 1942 World War era film, Casablanca.
Captain Renault tells Rick he will close his club.
Rick : How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault : I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier : Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault : [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
Captain Renault : Everybody out at once!
Of course the Israeli government interferes in US politics and the presidential race is the big kahuna. Israel's domestic UA warriors, led by the heavy-hitters from AIPAC, are deeply embedded in the 2012 elections.
Ambassador Oren knows it; everyone who pays attention knows it. But like the nuclear arsenal Israel has built in the Israeli desert, the media and politicians do not speak of it. They do not want to be branded as anti-Israel.
Who better than an American-Israeli academic turned government official than Michael Oren, to carry Israel's cause into US domestic politics even as he does not speak openly of the patently obvious.
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