Oren categorically denies criticizing GOP on Israel

Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, said he was not specifying the Republican Party when he said it was harmful to make Israel a partisan issue.

“I categorically deny that I ever characterized Republican policies as harmful to Israel,” Oren said in a statement emailed Sept. 4 to reporters. “Bipartisan support is a paramount national interest for Israel, and we have great friends on both sides of the aisle.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said Republican efforts to depict President Obama as insufficiently pro-Israel were a salve to those who longed for a wedge between Israel and its most powerful ally.

“We know, and I’ve heard no less than Ambassador Michael Oren say this, that what the Republicans are doing is dangerous for Israel,” said Wasserman Schultz, the DNC’s chair.

Oren has said repeatedly that attempts to make Israel a partisan issue are detrimental to the bipartisan support that the Jewish state has enjoyed for years, but that he has never singled out one party as more responsible than the other for promoting such divisions. — jta