Back to Navigation

Michael Oren Dialogue | Munk Debates

Become a Munk Member


March 27, 2023

Michael Oren Dialogue

Is Israel on the brink of civil war?

About this episode

Over half a million people have taken to the streets in the biggest protest movement the country has ever seen in response to Prime Minister’s Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial plan to overhaul the judiciary and give unprecedented legal powers to the government. Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the US and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s office, joins us for a Munk Dialogue about what he sees as a clash of two Israels: On the one side is a liberal and secular faction that wants to be a leader in tech, science, and the arts; and on the other, a more religious and right wing voting bloc whose vision for Israel is quite the opposite.


The Guests

Michael Oren

Michael Oren

As a Member of Knesset and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, he interacted with foreign leaders and defended Israel in the media. He spearheaded efforts to strengthen Israel-Diaspora relations, to develop the Golan Heights, and to fight BDS. As Chairman of a classified subcommittee, he dealt with some of Israel’s most sensitive security issues. 

Prior to that, for nearly five years, Oren served as Israel's Ambassador to the United States. He was instrumental in obtaining US defense aid, especially for the Iron Dome system, and American loan guarantees for Israel's economy. He built bridges with diverse communities across the nation, wrote dozens of op-eds and conducted hundreds of media interviews, fortifying the U.S.-Israel alliance. 

A graduate of Princeton and Columbia, Dr. Oren was a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown. He holds four honorary doctorates and was awarded the Statesman of the Year Medal by the Washington Institute for Near East and the Dr. Martin Luther King Legacy Prize for International Service. His last three books—Six Days of War, Power, Faith, and Fantasy, and Ally: My Journal Across the American-Israel Divide—were all New York Times bestsellers. He received the Los Angeles Times History Book of the Year Award, a National Humanities prize, and the Jewish Book Award.