THE SPINE MAY 2, 2009
...for The New Republic.
Michael Oren--distinguished scholar in modern history, political commentator, novelist (under a pseudonym), soldier--was for about five years a contributing editor at The New Republic. He wrote long essays for us and short dispatches. Some times with an hours' notice; other times long and reflective. He is a native-born American who went to Israel to live a life of Zionist meaning. His wife's sister was a victim of a terrorist bomb attack that many humane internationalists and a few Americans think Israelis should just take as an ordinary fact of life.
Michael does not think that. Neither does his eldest son, Yoav, who was wounded in a battle with precisely such ordinary killers.
Oren will now be the new ambassador to the United States. You will be able to judge from his performance in Washington his analytic capacities and his political strengths. To "peace now" enthusiasts, deluded folks, mostly, he is a hawk. To the remnants of the "greater Israel" movement, also a bit meshugah, he is a dove. Actually, he is both.
Among his writings are Six Days of War and Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East...You have seen him on television many times, especially during the Gaza withdrawal and the 2006 Lebanese war.
Oren has taught at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown. His scholarly career will now have a respite. As, I suppose, will his writings for TNR. On the other hand, an article by Oren on movies of war appears in the very next issue and will be on TNR.com shortly after it appears in print.
Sometime in the next 24 hours, all of the articles he did for TNR (some of them with Yossi Klein Halevi) will be put online adjacent to this space.
UPDATE: Click here to read Michael Oren's articles for TNR.