Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the US, deletes tweet (VIDEO)


Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren addresses the opening of the three-day General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in Washington on Nov. 8, 2009.


Nicholas Kamm

You can kill a tweet, but you can't hide the body.

The Twitter account of Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, sent this out to the world Saturday, according to Buzzfeed:

If what the tweet suggested were true — that Israel is willing to sit down with Hamas, which the US and Israel designate a terrorist organization — this would be news of the biggest kind. But as BuzzFeed, which broke the story, said, Oren deleted the tweet, blamed the statement on a staffer, and said Israel would do nothing of the kind.

"Correction: the earlier tweet about my CNN interview was sent erroneously by a staffer," Oren later tweeted.

The tweet referenced Oren's interview with CNN, in which he said:

"The people, and the government, and the State of Israel want peace with their neighbors. And we're willing to sit down and negotiate with them, if they are willing to sit down and negotiate with us. Everything's on the table. We sign on to the two-state solution, we're committed to it. Just stop shooting at us." 

Notice that in those comments, Oren did not mention Hamas.

A spokesman for Oren later told Buzzfeed in an email: "Ambassador Oren signaled in his interview our willingness to sit with our Palestinian neighbours — not with Hamas."

More from GlobalPost: Social warfare: Israel and Hamas bring war to the digital age

In light of the mistaken tweet, perhaps it's a good time for a refresher on how how the microblogging platform works. Here are the top three Twitter rules from journalist David Aaronovitch (you can view the rest here:)

1. Twitter IS publishing. Putting it out there for others to read is publishing. So don’t tweet anything you wouldn’t be happy to see on the newsagent’s shelf with a picture of you above it.

2. You think you know the law of libel. You don’t. Nor do any of your friends. I have had grown men telling me on Twitter this week that repeating a libel is not itself libel (it is) or that if you don’t directly say X is a rampant Y, but just hint at it then it doesn’t count (it does).

3. If you’re an obscure nobody who no one follows, but who wants to say something rude sort of privately, don’t do it under a trending hashtag. You will bring the wrath of thousands of strangers down on your hapless head.

Watch Oren's interview with CNN below: