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Oren, who won’t meet with J Street, says dialogue is essential

Israel/Palestine
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Chagrined Michael Oren says that he wants to go back to UC Irvine, despite being shouted down there a few weeks back.

The diplomat said he understood the emotional nature of Middle East politics, but said it was also important to observe the decorum of free speech and hear others’ viewpoints.

"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," he wrote.

Oren noted that the incident underscored the importance of dialogue, and said dialogue was the only way peace in the Middle East would be achieved. He offered to return to the campus as long as the proper decorum of free speech is respected.

He wouldn’t meet with J Street, but he values the exchange of ideas with those he disagrees with. Maybe J Street should send Oren an open letter. Maybe I am not the best person to suggest that to them. But can’t we get someone to debate Oren? Steve Clemons at the New American Foundation should put on a debate with Amjad Atallah and maybe Daniel Levy.

Bruce Wolman
About Bruce Wolman

Bruce Wolman is a citizen journalist who has lived in Norway and the Washington area.

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