Ambassador Michael Oren
Ambassador Michael OrenReuters

Addressing a Jewish-American conference in Detroit, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren spoke of the need for Israel to retain its Jewish identity and urged world Jewry to remain united in support of the Jewish homeland.

"Together, we must invest in our future,” Ambassador Michael Oren told about 200 people at the Renaissance Center in Detroit during the annual conference of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA).

Oren criticized efforts to boycott Israel and lashed out against Jewish American political activist and author Peter Beinart for advocating a “partial boycott,” aimed exclusively at ostracizing Israeli “settlements.”

Oren said Beinart’s plan is impractical and bigoted.

“As a practical matter, you can’t do it,” Oren said. Also, “It is prejudiced.… It’s very dangerous.”

Oren’s visit to Detroit came amid controversy over his appearance in a segment on the CBS news show “60 Minutes” last month that harshly condemned Israel’s treatment of its ‘Palestinian’ Christians and presented an entirely biased view of the situation on the ground.

During his appearance, Oren defended Israel’s treatment of Christians, saying that Israel has the “only growing Christian population” among countries in the Middle East. Speaking to the Free Press, Oren said that Christians in Israel are doing well “economically, socially, academically.”

Oren asserted that the Arab’s inability to recognizing Israel as a Jewish country is a primary reason as to why the peace process is not moving forward. “Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people..… Our very existence is predicated on that peoplehood,” affirmed the Israeli ambassador.

Oren also noted that Israel has “more Nobel Prizes per capita” than any other country and continues to make far-reaching contributions to the global community.

Oren urged the audience not to allow their differences of opinions to bring about a schism within the Jewish community. “Bipartisan support for Israel is a paramount, strategic interest for the State of Israel,” he said.