“The Biden administration’s policies will be… more similar to those of President Obama,” said Michael Oren.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
Will Biden be the second coming of Obama?
In an interview Sunday with Arutz 7, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren said that a Biden administration will be more similar to an Obama one than to that of President Trump.
“The Biden administration’s policies will be different from those of Trump, in some ways very different from those of President Trump, and more similar to those of President Obama,” Oren said.
“So we’re going to have to be prepared for that and be ready to deal with it,” he said.
Oren pointed to the Iran nuclear deal and the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as two issues on which a Biden administration could have very different policies than those of Trump.
Oren said that when Biden takes office, “he’s going to have his plate very, very full.”
“I don’t think that our issues will be at the top of his agenda, certainly not the Palestinian issue,” he said.
However, Oren said that the Iranian nuclear issue will be a priority. He said that Biden has “been under a significant amount of pressure from former Obama administration officials to renew that agreement.”
In an apparent confirmation of Oren’s view, former senior Obama official Amos Hochstein told Israel’s Channel 12 on Sunday, “The nuclear agreement with Iran is a very high priority.”
“I assume that in the first months of [Biden’s] tenure we will see either a return to the full agreement or a return to the suspension of sanctions in exchange for a stay of some of the Iranian nuclear systems built in the last three years,” Hochstein said.
Biden has stated on many occasions, including on his official campaign website, that he plans to re-enter the “historic Iran nuclear deal, negotiated by the Obama-Biden administration.”
Oren said that the Obama administration made many changes to American policy which Israel viewed as not just diplomatic threats but as strategic threats.
“The issues of Israel-Palestine and the Iran nuclear issue were deeply held ideological issues by President Obama,” he said.
Oren called the Obama years “a very different time,” saying, “It ended with condemnations in the United Nations. It ended with a nuclear deal which the vast, vast majority of Israelis view as a strategic threat, even an existential threat.”
Asked by the interviewer if the eight years of Obama “were really that bad,” Oren said, pointing to his head, “You see that gray hair?”
Oren said that for Obama, “the issues of Israel-Palestine, the Iran nuclear issue were deeply held ideological issues.” However, he said that Biden, who served as vice president under Obama, is “not that type of ideologue.”
Nevertheless, concerns are growing given early signs that Biden’s team will be made up of ex-Obama officials.
According to Politico, many are likely to receive appointments in the Biden administration.
For example, heading the list of candidates for secretary of state are former Obama national security advisor Susan Rice, former Obama deputy secretary of state William Burns, and former Obama deputy national security adviser Antony Blinken.