Dear Michael Oren, what is your “political initiative”?

Michael Oren, a man for whom I have tremendous respect, has taken the leap over the aisle from diplomat to politician by running for the Knesset with Moshe Kahlon’s new list.

Kahlon’s party can be forgiven for not yet having defined policies and, rather, only general objectives — after all, the party is relatively new. Still, Kahlon and Oren are not political rookies and it would be nice to know the party’s plan for the conflict with the Palestinians. In fact, other than Jewish Home, Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, it would be nice to know the plan of every centre and left-of -centre party that hasn’t been tried over the last 20 years.

The usual suspects — Livni and her (let’s be honest) ideological brothers and sisters in Meretz can be ignored for their criticism of Netanyahu since, as I have said in the past, their fundamental principle is to be unprincipled.  But for people like Michael Oren, one cannot level the same accusation.  After all, Oren took a principled stand during the Gaza War to ensure he did his duty defending Israel.  He is a man of utmost sincerity and has risked his life for Israel.

But, alas, it still seems he has fallen into the trap of the vast majority of Israeli politicians – to criticize, but not to offer solutions.

Oren recently spoke at the Saban forum where he criticized both the left and the right and was quoted as saying, ““Inaction isn’t an option…Israel needs to take its fate into its own hands, and to come out with a political initiative that will serve its interests.”

I issue this challenge to Mr. Oren:  Lay out the initiative in clear and practical terms, not in ideals and hopes.  Tell us, for example:

  • Is it different from Avigdor Lieberman’s population exchange initiative? (not received too well by the Int’l community)
  • Is it different than Lieberman’s “reach out to the Arab world initiative”?  (Good luck with that, especially after listening to the Jordanian ambassador to the UN speak today.)
  • Is it more unilateral withdrawals?  (The residents of Sderot and Ashkelon might be able to give some input on that idea)

Let us not forget that the person who made no headway with the Palestinians in the recent round of talks was Tzipi Livni herself.  In months of talks, there was not one concession or compromise the Palestinians made.  To the contrary, they appear to be hardening their positions on “refugees“, an issue that arguably unites all Zionist parties in Israel

Obama is not friendly to Israel because that is who he is.  The world is not friendly to Israel because we are who we are.  Netanyahu gave peace talks a fighting chance and found the same Palestinian non-partners as every other leader who tried to negotiate.

Michael Oren:  What could Netanyahu have done differently?  What can you possibly propose that would change Israel’s current reality that has not been tried a hundred times already?

About the Author
Michael Tweyman is a politically conservative Toronto lawyer whose writing has appeared in the Canadian Jewish News. Michael has no formal affiliation with any Israeli political party or movement.
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