Israeli ambassador Michael Oren drew a standing-room only crowd at a talk he delivered at U.C. Irvine earlier today. But it wasn’t the type of warm reception he’d hoped for, as a considerable portion of the audience reminded him of his role as a PR flack for the Gaza war in his role as an IDF senior officer and neocon analyst funded by Shelley Adelson Shalem Center. He was roundly booed and interrupted with cries of “murderer” as he attempted to complete his speech. The only reason he did was that the protestors left the hall to continue their protest outside.
Desperate times require desperate measures. And if this is what it takes to remind the world that Israel’s war machine continues its Occupation, and its massacre in Gaza continues to go uninvestigated internally or externally, then so be it. Cries of “murderer” are certainly unwarranted. I’d have been happy enough just to disrupt the proceedings without the histrionics. But then again, I’m not Palestinian and have not known the suffering of Gaza or Lebanon.
This is entirely justified guerilla political action. I’m sorry but just because Michael Oren wants to attain respectability for Israel by associating himself with a prestigious U.S. university doesn’t mean that his audience needs to sit respectfully and listen to the pap he delivers.
Let every Israeli diplomat and general know that they face the prospect of such frosty receptions wherever they speak in this country, unless it’s an ADL, Aipac, or Israel Bonds dinner.