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Oren ‘categorically denies’ he singled out GOP as taking partisan Israel shots

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (JTA) — Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, said he was not specifying the Republican Party when he described as harmful making Israel a partisan issue.

"I categorically deny that I ever characterized Republican policies as harmful to Israel," Oren said in a statement emailed Tuesday to reporters. "Bipartisan support is a paramount national interest for Israel, and we have great friends on both sides of the aisle."

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), in a training session Monday for Jewish activists at the Democratic National Convention here, said Republican efforts to depict President Obama as insufficiently pro-Israel were a salve to those who longed for a wedge between Israel and its most powerful ally.

"We know, and I’ve heard no less than Ambassador Michael Oren say this, that what the Republicans are doing is dangerous for Israel," said Wasserman Schultz, the DNC’s chair.

Oren has said repeatedly that attempts to make Israel a partisan issue are detrimental to the bipartisan support that the Jewish state has enjoyed for years, but that he has never singled out one party as more responsible than the other for promoting such divisions.

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