NEW ORLEANS - Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, urged America's Jewry to stand up for Israel on Monday during a panel on Israeli-U.S. relations as part of the Jewish Federations General Assembly.

“I think it is fair for Israel to expect the American Jewish community to uphold our right to self-defense," Oren said. "Israel expects American Jews to fight the Goldstone report which limits our ability to defend ourselves by branding us as war criminals, with the same zeal that you have fought boycotts, divestment and sanctions."

Oren asked American Jews to respect the Israeli government's decisions, even if they do not agree with them.

"We are asking that you respect the decisions made by the world’s most resilient democracy that survived despite the unrelenting warfare. Respect the will of the people who bear the greatest consequences of their government’s decisions -even if you disagree with us”.

He also urged Jewish voters to make Israel a priority and to ensure that Israel's sovereignty remains a bipartisan goal.

“I want to say categorically that bipartisan political support for Israel is a national strategic interest for the Jewish state. We urge American Jews to ensure that preserving a secure sovereign Israel remains a bipartisan goal to which Americans of all political outlooks aspire”.