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Michael Oren: Obama’s outreach to Muslim world could be rooted in father

In Friday’s attack on U.S. president, former Israeli envoy to U.S. takes Obama to task for ‘boycotting’ Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher memorial in Paris.

Michael Oren official portrait

Ahead of upcoming release of his memoir “Ally, ” former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and current Kulanu MK Michael Oren, published an op-ed with psychology speculation saying that U.S. President Barack Obama outreach to the Muslim world may stem from the abandonment by his mother’s two Muslim husbands.

How did the president arrive at his unique approach to Islam? asks Oren in a Foreign Policy op-ed published Friday, and answers “One of the primary texts in my Obama 101 course was the 2008 monograph, “Strategic Leadership: Framework for a 21st Century National Security Strategy, ” written by foreign-relations experts, many of whom would soon hold senior positions in the new administration. While striving to place its relations with the Middle East on a new basis, the authors advised, America must seek “improved relations with more moderate elements of political Islam” and adapt “a narrative of pride in the achievements of Islam.”

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But, he continues “In addition to its academic and international affairs origins, Obama’s attitudes toward Islam clearly stem from his personal interactions with Muslims, ”

“I could imagine how a child raised by a Christian mother might see himself as a natural bridge between her two Muslim husbands. I could also speculate how that child’s abandonment by those men could lead him, many years later, to seek acceptance by their co-religionists.”

Oren also took Obama to task for “boycotting” the memorial in Paris following January’s Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher kosher market attacks. “Forty-four world leaders joined them, but not President Barack Obama. Neither did his attorney general at the time, Eric Holder, or Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, both of whom were in Paris that day. Other terrorists went on to murder four French Jews in a kosher market that they deliberately targeted. Yet Obama described the killers as “vicious zealots who … randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli.”

“Simply put: The president could not participate in a protest against Muslim radicals whose motivations he sees as a distortion, rather than a radical interpretation, of Islam, ” Oren wrote.

“And if there are no terrorists spurred by Islam, there can be no purposely selected Jewish shop or intended Jewish victims, only a deli and randomly present folks.”

Only a week ago, Oren wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal claiming that the U.S. president ‘deliberately abandoned Israel.’

After the article was published, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, damned Michael Oren’s “imaginary account of what happened, ” saying he is “a politician and an author who wants to sell books.”

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, the head of Oren’s Kulanu party,  sent a letter to Shapiro, expressing deep appreciation for Obama and saying that Oren’s piece does not speak for Kulanu.

Netanyahu refuses to apologize for ex-ambassador’s criticism of Obama.



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