CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (JTA) — Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, “categorically denied” that he specified the Republican Party when he said that making Israel a partisan issue was harmful.
“I categorically deny that I ever characterized Republican policies as harmful to Israel,” Oren said in a statement emailed Tuesday 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.), in a training session Monday for Jewish activists at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., 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,” she said.
Oren has repeatedly said attempts to make Israel a partisan issue are detrimental to the bipartisan support the Jewish state has for years enjoyed, but he has never singled out one party as more responsible than the other for promoting such divisions.