- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren delivered a stark message to an elite foreign-policy crowd about the danger of allowing Iran to get a nuclear bomb.

“They could accomplish in a matter of seconds what they deny Hitler did and kill 6 millions Jews, literally,” he said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust and repeatedly threatens to destroy Israel.

Mr. Oren, speaking to at the Aspen Institute’s annual convention in Colorado last week, added that the Iranian threat is not only directed against the Jewish state. The Shi’ite Muslim government is also a danger to Sunni Arab nations that would also be within its missile range.

The recent government assault on pro-democracy demonstrators shows the “true nature of the regime,” he said.

“This is a regime that’s willing to kill its own citizens. It will certainly have no compunctions killing other people in the region, Jews and Sunni Arabs, alike,” he said.

Mr. Oren noted that time is running out to stop Iran from developing enough nuclear material to build a bomb.

“There are clocks ticking all around,” he said. “One of those clocks is the uranium enrichment clock, which will show that by a certain date, the Iranians will have sufficient, highly enriched uranium materials to create a bomb that could literally wipe Israel off the map in a matter of seconds.”

The ambassador added that the Israeli government “supports the Obama administration program of outreach and engagement with Iran.”

However, he added, “we are concerned about the timing and the time line of this engagement.”


The very Catholic nation of Malta is still trying to figure out how to react to President Obama’s decision to appoint an ambassador to the Mediterranean island nation who was already reportedly rejected by the Vatican for supporting pro-choice Mr. Obama.

Mr. Obama last week announced the nomination of Pepperdine University law professor Douglas W. Kmiec as his choice of ambassador to Malta, where abortion is illegal. Mr. Kmiec has described himself as a conservative, pro-life Catholic, but he is increasingly criticized by many Catholic commentators for his support of Mr. Obama, whose abortion policies run against Catholic teachings.

Mr. Kmiec, a former legal counsel for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, endorsed Mr. Obama last year and argued that pro-life Catholics could vote for Mr. Obama, despite his support for abortion.

The Malta Independent newspaper called the choice of Mr. Kmiec “somewhat of a poisoned chalice” and noted that he “stunned his colleagues” with his endorsement of Mr. Obama.

Dailymalta.com posted a critical article by Steven Ertelt, editor of lifenews.com, who wrote that the nomination is “sure to spark opposition in Catholic circles given Malta’s strongly pro-life stance.”

“Kmiec became the main Catholic cheerleader for the Obama campaign … and his ringing endorsement of the aggressive abortion advocate drew scorn nationwide,” Mr. Ertelt wrote.

However, a Malta resident named Joe Grima posted a positive response on the Times of Malta Web site, www.timesofmalta.com, which carried a story about Mr. Kmiec’s nomination.

“Allow me to offer the warmest Maltese welcome to Ambassador Douglas W. Kmiec as ambassador to Malta,” he wrote, adding that he admired Mr. Kmiec’s decision to support Mr. Obama. “Welcome ambassador. Safe journey.”

Mr. Obama first considered Mr. Kmiec as ambassador to the Vatican but ran into opposition from some Vatican officials, according to several reports in Rome newspapers.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail [email protected] washingtontimes.com.

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