Speaking at the Baker Institute on Feb. 7, His Excellency Michael B. Oren, the State of Israel"s ambassador to the United States, traced the "close spiritual and philosophical" relationship between the United States and Israel -- one that dates to the American colonists, who felt deeply tied to Biblical Israel, and continues to this day, as both countries face dramatic new challenges in Middle East.
"I don't have to stress what has gone on in the Middle East in just the last four or five weeks," the ambassador said, referring to -- among other recent developments -- massive anti-government riots in Egypt and an uprising in Tunisia. The events will "reverberate throughout the region in ways which none of us know," he added. "Together we face all of these challenges ... Together we aspire to dream of a Middle East in which our children, our grandchildren, can live in peace, prosperity and permanent legitimacy."
Oren also addressed the misnomer that Israel doesn't have "friends." Rather, Oren said quite the opposite is true. Citing positive relationships with China, India, Egypt and Germany, Oren said that trading is up, tourism is up and Israel's economic situation is the best it has been in its 62-and-a-half years.
His Excellency Michael B. Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States, responds to audience questions about the U.S.-Israel relationship.
Ambassador Oren speaks to audience members after his presentation.
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