Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, told about 150 supporters of Write On For Israel, the Jewish Week-sponsored advocacy program for high school students, this week that the program is “essential” to making Jerusalem’s case on college campuses throughout the country.
He said he was “deeply moved” and appreciative of the fact that students of Write On, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, toured Israel even during the height of the second intifada, when the country’s future was in peril.
The ambassador, who has met with and lectured Write On students, praised the program for its effort to provide students with the history, skills and confidence to counter anti-Israel propaganda.
He spoke at a fundraising event for the program in Lawrence, L.I., at the home of Stanley and Trudy Stern, three of whose children are alumni of the Write On program.
In his remarks Oren described life in Israel today as “the worst and best of times,” in that the economy is strong and tourism is booming, but the country is facing a wide spectrum of dangers from its neighbors, most seriously from Iran.
The sanctions imposed by the West are affecting Tehran’s economy, he said, but they show no signs of slowing down its effort to reach nuclear capability.
“They have to believe us,” Oren said of Israel’s warnings to Iran about using military means to stop the program. “We’re not there yet.”