The Jerusalem Post
July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel's Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren said that the disagreement between America and Israel on the settlement issue would be resolved soon.

In an interview with Israel radio Wednesday, Oren claimed that there was no confrontation and no tension between the two countries.

This was Oren's first interview since he presented his credentials on Monday to US President Barack Obama.

At the presentation ceremony, Oren said he told Obama, "as a grandson of European immigrants who found refuge in America in the 1920s, as a son of a fighter who fought in World War II, as someone who was educated in American universities, I am grateful to represent Israel, a country dear to me, to the country of my birth, the United States."

Oren continued "as a historian, I have researched the long history of the US-Israel relationship and the history of the idea of Zionism vis-a-vis the US, I told the president that he represents a continuation of the long line of US presidents from John Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and, of course, Harry Truman who supported the idea of the Jewish State. I would be happy to be of service to President Obama in the continuation of this legacy."

Of the recent rift between the two countries on the settlement issue, Oren said "I researched the history of the relationship between Israel and the US and I know that there were many disagreements, that there were tensions, for example the Suez crisis in the 1956 when Eisenhower threatened Israel with sanctions, in the 80s with Reagan on the sale of AWAC planes to Saudi Arabia, with Bush Sr. on loan guarantees on to build Jewish settlements. So there were disagreements."

"Here, we are talking about a very specific disagreement. There is a willingness on the part of the administration to resolve this. And I know as ambassador that the spectrum of constant contact is massive. We do not feel tension. There is no breakdown in the relationship," said Oren.

"We are dealing with this on all levels and we will reach an agreement with camaraderie and cooperation. We have no ally like the United States. It is a strong bond and I'm sure it will be resolved."

On a future Obama visit to Israel, Oren said "Obama was quoted as saying to Jewish leaders that he intends to visit Israel soon. There is no specific date."


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