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Israel’s new man in Washington

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The Israeli government’s appointment of historian Michael Oren as Israel’s new ambassador to the United States puts an unusual personage in what is arguably Israel’s most important post overseas.

The Jerusalem Post editorialists note that Oren, who made aliyah from New Jersey when he was 15, will have to cede his U.S. citizenship to take up the post.

After serving in the paratroops, Oren returned to the US to take degrees from Columbia and Princeton universities. A senior fellow at The Shalem Center, Oren is a best-selling historian whose books include Six Days of War: June 1967, The Making of the Modern Middle East and, most recently, Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present. He’s also an accomplished polemicist with scores op-eds and television appearances to his credit.

As recently as Operation Cast Lead, Oren voluntarily donned his army uniform to work in the IDF Spokesman’s office. He has diplomatic experience too, having served in Israel’s UN Mission…

We at The Jerusalem Post take pride in the appointment of a fellow Anglo, a reconfirmation of what immigrants can achieve in Israel. For in Oren we have an American who came here, served in an elite unit, and then worked tirelessly to improve the way the world understands our country and the region.

However, an ambassador, no matter how eloquent or well-connected, cannot be compelling if the policies at the top are jumbled or lack resonance. Oren will be at his most effective if Netanyahu can articulate a foreign and security policy that is coherent and sensible.

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