Saturday, May 2, 2009

Michael Oren!

Michael Oren, author of Six Days of War, and Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present, will tomorrow be officially confirmed as Israel's ambassador to the United States. I've known Michael, off and on, since he was a graduate student, and can tell of his engaging communications skills and wide knowledge.

It's not clear what ambassadors are for these days, but the Israeli ambassador in Washington plays an important role in explaining Israel's positions to the American political class, media, and public; I can't think of anyone better qualified to do this than Michael. Besides being an engaging speaker and a compelling writer, he knows more about Israel's history than about 99.9% of people, he knows more about American involvement in the Mideast than about 99.999% of people (he wrote the single most important book on the subject), and as an Arabic-speaking Mideast expert, he knows more about the Arab world than most Westerners (I'd say, easily 99.9% of them).

He was in the early stages of writting yet another an important book, which now will be suspended, alas, but if Netanyahu's government lasts a while and does anything of significance, Michael will have insights from the eye of the storm, so I expect we'll eventually get a fine book about that.

Good Luck Michael!


sparrow said...

Michael's book "Power, Faith...." is a superb book. I am delighted at his appointment to Washington.

Anonymous said...

It is indeed an excellent, excellent appointment. If Netanyahu continues to make superb decisions like this.... no, no, I shouldn't get carried away!!!

Anonymous said...

Oren is a superb choice.