When Michael Oren, the Israeli army spokesperson during the attacks on Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2009, was invited to speak at the Harvard Kennedy School in November, students vigorously challenged his attempt to whitewash Israel’s brutal attack on Gaza. Oren, who was appointed by Netanyahu to serve as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and who was a Visiting Professor at Harvard in 2006, seemed not to expect his spin to go unchallenged.

The Crimson published an op-ed shortly after which describes the circumstances of Oren’s talk:

The devastating impact on Gaza’s schools should be of special concern to an institution dedicated to education such as Harvard. Instead, on November 23 Harvard extended an invitation to Michael B. Oren—the Israeli ambassador to the United States—to speak at the Kennedy School. Fittingly, he was rejected by students who attended the event. Oren is a former officer and paratrooper who served as an Israeli army spokesperson during the unwarranted and illegal attacks on Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2009.

While the university envisioned a warm reception, it must be recorded that the students took a clear stance against impunity for war crimes. During the question-and-answer session, the vast majority of questions and comments leveled at Oren were critical of his actions and statements on the Gaza invasion and the Goldstone report.

One student read a quote by Oren in which he compared the Goldstone report to the Holocaust. She then asked, “Why do you make such hyperbolic statements? Don’t you think it cheapens the memory of Jews killed?” Oren denied making the statement, which he wrote in an article for The New Republic. Many other questions and statements equally rattled Oren. Students showed that they are unwilling to stay silent when a uniformed spin doctor tries to rewrite recent history.

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