Michael Oren Barack Obama
Michael Oren and Barack Obama. (photo credit:REUTERS,JPOST STAFF)

 

The Beersheba municipality¬†on Saturday apologized to Kulanu MK Michael Oren for a press release that misquoted the former ambassador to Washington as saying that US President Barack Obama espoused “radical Islamic values.”

Oren, a critic of the Obama administration and its policies toward Israel, was a panelist at a town hall meeting organized by the Beersheba municipality on Saturday.

“The spokesman of the Beersheba municipality wants to clarify and apologize for falsely quoting MK Michael Oren, who spoke at a cultural event in the city today, saying that President Obama introduced radical Muslim values into the White House,” the municipality said in a statement. “MK Oren never said such a thing nor suggested one. We apologize for the false quote and for the distress caused to MK Oren.”

The municipality had released a statement earlier on Saturday quoting Oren as saying that Obama was responsible for introducing “radical Muslim values into the White House.”

“For the first time, radical Muslim values have been introduced into the White House,” the initial press release read. “He would never use the term Islamic extremism” to define groups like Islamic State, according to the statement.

The attributed quotes were then picked up by numerous Israeli media outlets, prompting an outpouring of criticism. This forced Oren to issue a clarification in which he strongly denied the notion that the president or White House was sympathetic to radical Islam.

“I was shocked and profoundly disturbed by reports appearing in several Israeli news sites alleging that I had publicly attacked [President Obama],” one post reads on his Twitter page.

Oren later released a press release from his office, stating that “several quotes that were taken from an interview held at a Shabbat culture event in Beersheba were significantly inaccurate…. I never expressed the notion that the White House holds or expresses radical Muslim values.”

“The interviewer asked about leftist values, not Muslim values,” the statement added.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post