On That Contentious Netanyahu-Shapiro Meeting, Oren Weighs In

Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, has let it be known to Goldblog that he, too, attended the now-famous meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers. The American ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, was also in attendance (who wasn't?) and, according to both anonymous Israeli press reports, and now Rogers himself, the meeting became filled with tension when Netanyahu wheeled on Shapiro and accused the Obama Administration of not being adequately militant about Iran. Rogers described Netanyahu as being "at wits' end" over the apparent American refusal to stipulate red lines for the Iranian nuclear program.

Oren told me, however, that the meeting was "candid and substantive and respectful." How candid? He answered: "Candid and substantive and respectful." Though he added that, "This is the way friends talk to each other," he would not go into any further detail. (Shapiro himself told Israel's Channel 2 that the notion that the meeting was in any way hostile was "silly," and a spokesman for the prime minister, Liran Dan, said that the report of tension and hostility in the meeting "is incorrect and we have nothing more to add."

I hope that clears everything up.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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