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January 20th, 2012 By Kevin Osborne | News | Posted In: Human Rights, War , Congress, Public Policy

Israeli Ambassador Visits Cincinnati


Israel’s ambassador to the United States will speak at an event in Cincinnati on Saturday night.

Michael Oren will speak about U.S.-Israeli relations and current events affecting both nations. Time will be allowed for questions following Oren’s speech.

Several area politicians are scheduled to attend the event including U.S. Reps. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) and Steve Chabot (R-Westwood); State Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Price Hill); Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel; and a representative from the office of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Terrace Park).

The event will be held at 8 p.m. at Mayerson Jewish Community Center. It’s located at 8485 Ridge Road, in Amberley Village.

Although the event is free, the center already has reached capacity level for the crowd through reservations, and is discouraging walk-ins. But the center will videotape the ambassador's remarks and the question and answer session, and post them online next week.

Oren has been criticized for defending Israel’s blockade and military assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09. A United Nations fact-finding report concluded that the Israel Defense Forces were guilty of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

Further, some critics have blasted Oren’s endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s support for some tyrannical regimes in the Arab world instead of promoting democracy and self-determination.

Oren, 56, was born in upstate New York. He was active in Zionist and Jewish youth groups and made his first trip to Israel at age 15. After graduating from Columbia University, Oren immigrated to Israel in 1979.

Also, Oren is a former member of the Israel Defense Forces. He served in the 1982 Lebanon War, the 2005 Gaza Strip disengagement and the 2006 Lebanon War.

Netanyahu appointed Oren as ambassador to the United States in May 2009.

For more information on the event, contact the Jewish Federation at 513-985-1500.

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