Sunday, September 06, 2015

Book Review: Ally by Michael Oren

Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide by Michael Oren
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Random House; 1St Edition edition (June 23, 2015)

Oren's memoir is a personal account  of his time serving as the Israeli ambassador to the United States.  What he does is provide a frank yet fascinating look at the relationship between America and Israel.

Growing up in New Jersey, Oren would later relinquish his American citizenship so that he could serve as the ambassador form 2009 until he stepped down in 2013.  This was not a pretty time for the Middle East.  The Arab Spring started during this time and America's role changed with the start of the Obama administration.

Oren provides cultural, personal, and historic ties that bind the two countries even as the relationship seems strained over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Iran nuclear program.  Oren beautifully interweaves his own personal story with the behind-the-scenes meetings of leadership.

All in all, Oren gives us a ringside seat to some of the significant political moments of recent years.  The memoir is compelling and it is certainly timely with the debate over the Iran agreement.  Yet, at the same time, it's a testament to the alliance between the two countries.  Oren proudly served the Jewish State of Israel while still treasuring his American identity.

Next month sees the release of Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama by Dennis Ross.

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