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Michael Oren, a prominent historian widely seen as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s imminent pick to represent Israel in Washington, is a highly regarded writer and an articulate and telegenic speaker. But his public viewpoints on a number of key issues clash sharply with those of the Obama administration, to which he soon may be credentialed.
One Friday night last November, after saying Kiddush and putting his children to bed, Pinny clicked the send button on his e-mail and turned to the work of killing himself.
It looked like a sight certain to delight every Religious Zionist. Just after midday April 29, Israel Independence Day, 3,000 flag-waving Jewish youngsters, many of the boys wearing yarmulkes, marched to the Western Wall from central Jerusalem.
Arlen Specter — once a Republican, now a Democrat — has long been one of Israel’s stalwarts in the Senate, serving on the critical operations committee, which writes the foreign aid spending bills. The “Jewish kid from Kansas,” as he called himself while standing next to President Obama on April 29, has taken his role as the senior Republican Jew in the U.S. Senate very seriously.
With President Obama’s recent release of four classified Bush Justice Department memos sanctioning what most observers call torture, it was almost inevitable that Israel’s experience would soon become part of the debate.