Small protest greets Oren address


(JTA) — Significant protests failed to materialize during Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s speech at Brandeis University.

The Israeli ambassador to the United States spoke Sunday at the university’s 59th commencement ceremony, telling graduates that Israel has a responsibility to seek peace. 

The decision to invite Oren to speak and grant him an honorary degree sparked debate at Brandeis, ranging from enthusiastic support for Oren to outrage at the invitation. Some insiders said media treatment of the controversy blew it out of proportion.

In the end, a mere 20 protesters demonstrated at the event, holding signs criticizing Israel’s treatment of Palestinian civilians and blaming Israel for committing war crimes, the weekly Brandeis Hoot reported.

Oren has been at the center of a debate over free speech on campus after hecklers were arrested for repeatedly disrupting an address he gave in February at the University of California, Irvine.

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