Michael Oren is the former Israeli ambassador to the United States during the first term of the Obama administration. We interviewed Oren about the memoir of his tenure as ambassador Ally: My Journey Across the American Israeli Divide in the Power Line podcast posted here. It is a highly illuminating memoir.
Oren currently serves as Israel’s Deputy Minister for Diplomacy. He is first and foremost a prominent historian, certainly the preeminent historian of Israel’s 1967 war. He is therefore well qualified to comment on President Obama’s betrayal of Israel in connection with UN Resolution 2332. It is a betrayal “the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road.”
Yesterday our friend Hugh Hewitt interviewed Oren about what went down in the United Nations last week. The transcript of the interview is posted here, the audio here. I thought some readers might find it of interest.
Hugh began by asking him to “reset what the dispute over the territory is and why the Western Wall is not occupied territory, as the UN Resolution 2332 declares it to be.” Oren responded:
I’ll try to do it as quickly as possible. In 1947, the UN declared that Palestine, as it was then known, would be partitioned into two states – an Arab state and a Jewish state. Notice, not a Palestinian state, but an Arab state. The Palestinians didn’t quite exist yet, and at least not on the international radar. And the Arabs went to war to destroy the Jewish state when it was created on May 14, 1948.
And the city of Jerusalem was divided. The eastern part of the city was occupied by the Jordanians, the West Bank was occupied by the Jordanians.
In June, 1967, the Jordanians attacked Israel again. Israel repulsed the attack, reunited Jerusalem under Israeli rule, and captured the West Bank, or as we call it, Judea and Samaria.
It is not occupied [under] international law, because the West Bank and East Jerusalem [were] never part of a recognized sovereign country. Nobody in the world, except for Britain and Pakistan, recognized the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. So the entire international law claim is spurious.
But when Israel reunited the city…, the Western Wall is in the eastern part of the city. The old city is in the eastern part of the city. We certainly can’t consider our homeland for 3,000 years to be occupied territory. You know, tell a member of the Sioux Nation that his tribal lands are occupied and he can’t live on them. That’s what the UN is telling us. They’re telling us more than that, that by living in them, we’re criminals.