Israeli Ambassador to Washington, DC Dr. Michael Oren has turned down an invitation to attend a J Street conference. YWN Israel reported earlier this week that the ambassador was among a number of senior diplomatic officials invited to the leftist event, adding it was unlikely that he would attend.
About 20 left-wing organizations are set to attend the Washington event, opening next week, along with a number of Israeli politicians, including Kadima MK Meir Sheetrit and Chaim Ramon, who explained that one needn’t agree with the organization’s policies to attend, adding AIPAC is not the only game in town. Kadima leader MK Tzipi Livni, who also serves as opposition leader in Knesset, is not attending by the way.
Oren’s decision to decline is a significant blow to J Street leaders, who are seeking added legitimacy among American Jewish leaders. While the conference may be well-attended, the extreme left-wing views of the organizations undermine the Israeli government and its policies and the conference is therefore seen as a hindrance to Israeli diplomatic efforts during difficult times, during which Jerusalem finds herself on the defense against a hostile international community following the Goldstone Commission report.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)