On That Contentious Netanyahu-Shapiro Meeting, Oren Weighs In

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/09/on-that-contentious-netanyahu-shapiro-meeting-oren-weighs-in/262104/