Israeli ambassador offers to return to UC Irvine

IRVINE — Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren says he would like to return to the University of California, Irvine to exchange views with students who heckled him on campus last month.

Oren made the offer in an open letter to the UC Irvine community published Monday on the website of the campus newspaper New University.

Oren was repeatedly interrupted and called "murderer" and "war criminal" by pro-Palestinian students as he was giving a talk on the Middle East peace process. Eleven students were arrested.

The diplomat said the incident underscored the importance of dialogue, and offered to return as long as the proper decorum of free speech is respected.

UC President Mark Yudof and campus Chancellor Michael Drake apologized for the students' behavior.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.