Israeli Ambassador denies inflammatory remark about U.S., Israeli relations

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Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren denied Sunday that he had told Israeli diplomats a “tectonic rift” was emerging between the United States and Israel — incendiary words first reported in the Israeli press and then repeated in media outlets around the globe.

In an interview, Oren said that he had spoken of a “tectonic shift in American foreign and domestic policies” under President Obama and that “Israel has to adjust to that.” But he suggested that his description was much more benign than that reported by anonymous sources who heard his briefing, explaining that he was merely emphasizing that Obama is an ambitious change agent not satisfied with the status quo.

Oren said the briefing, given in Hebrew at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, was no different from what he often says to various groups. “I said shift, not rift, but that may be a subtlety that escaped the Israeli ear,” he said.

Full Story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/27/AR2010062703427.html?hpid=moreheadlines