Amb. Michael Oren to address AIPAC Policy Conference; offers 2nd-chance dialogue with anti-Zionist UCI Muslim students

Ambassador Michael Oren to Speak at the 2010 AIPAC Policy Conference, March 21-23

Amb. Oren will address more than 6,000 conference delegates.

The Honorable Michael Oren, Israel's Ambassador to the United States, has confirmed that he will address a plenary session at AIPAC Policy Conference 2010, which will be held March 21-23 in Washington, D.C. Oren joins a list of others who have confirmed their attendance, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Quartet Representatitve Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Col. Richard Kemp and Prof. Alan Dershowitz. View a full Policy Conference program and register for the pro-Israel community's pre-eminent annual event. Below, view DemoCast's original video of Amb. Oren withstanding antagonists from Univ of Calif Irvine's Muslim Students Union who marched out in the midst of his address.

No charges were filed against the students.

In an open letter published in the UCI student newspaper New University Mon 8 March, Amb. Oren has offered to fly to meet the students who interrupted him as long as the tone stayed civil. Here is an excerpt:
I was saddened by the loss of this opportunity to exchange ideas with those who disagreed with me and, at the very least, to introduce them to different perspectives.

Since then, videos of the incident at Irvine have proliferated on the Internet and attracted significant media attention. I have received heartfelt apologies from UC President Mark Yudof and Chancellor Drake. The response has been overwhelmingly favorable in defense of my right to free expression on campus and the students’ right to hear those remarks.

Still, I am not satisfied. I came to UCI for the opportunity to exchange ideas — a reasonable intention that was hijacked by a minority of students. The disruptive measures exhibited by these students only underscore the importance for dialogue, especially on the frontline of higher learning. I would willingly return to your campus and meet with those individuals whose views may not agree with mine as long as we respect the decorum of dialogue and free speech.
Read the full letter here