Israeli Ambassador's UC-Irvine Speech: Another Episode in Campus Radicalism
by IPT News • Feb 9, 2010 at 6:20 pm
Eleven people were arrested Monday night at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), during a lecture by Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren. Oren's speech before about 500 people at the UCI Student Center was interrupted "by young men yelling at him every few minutes," reportedly shouting, "'Israel is a murderer'" and "'how many Palestinians did you kill?'"
After 10 interruptions, several dozen students walked out and staged a protest, organized by the Muslim Student Union (MSU). The protestors shouted, "'Michael Oren you will see, Palestine will be free.'"
The MSU issued a statement on its website prior to Oren's speech condemning his very invitation:
"We resent that the Law School and the Political Science Department have agreed to cosponsor a public figure who represents a state that continues to commit human rights violations, thereby breaking international law and law of Israeli accord. We strongly condemn the university for cosponsoring, and therefore, inadvertently supporting the ambassador of a state that is condemned by more UN Human Rights Council resolutions than all other countries in the world combined."
The Muslim Student Union of UC Irvine has a long history of radicalism, including inciting hatred against Jews, Israel and America and inviting anti-Semitic speakers to campus. Among the examples:
Radical Washington D.C. cleric Mohammed al-Asi, who argued Jews have American "politicians and decision makers and strategists in their pocket because they have the money."
Oakland-based Amir Abdel Malik Ali who incited his audience to "victory or martyrdom," described Hamas by saying, "they ain't terrorists, they're freedom fighters."
Between the fall of 2000 and December 2006, 13 incidents of alleged harassment against Jewish students were recorded at UCI, ranging from rock throwing to hate speech.
In May 2008, U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) wrote to UCI Chancellor Michael Drake to express his concern over MSU events earlier that month called "Never Again? The Palestinian Holocaust." The Congressman wrote the event "appears intended to encourage violence against the State of Israel and propagate the spread of anti-Semitism."
In October, 2009, UCI forwarded a complaint to the FBI "to investigate claims that funds raised at an event organized by the university's Muslim Student Union were used to help Hamas." The complaint refers to a Viva Palestina fundraising event sponsored by MSU in May 2009, an organization that directly provides money to the Hamas government in the Gaza strip.
On December 1, 2009, Sherman wrote another letter to the Chancellor, stating:
"I believe your investigation will confirm that the UCI MSU has solicited funds for a terrorist organization (or knowingly aided and abetted such solicitation). After you confirm these facts, I believe you will, at a minimum, prevent the MSU from operating on campus unless and until its leadership is purged of those responsible."
MSU has developed a reputation as among the most anti-Semitic and controversial Muslim student organizations in the country. The attempt to stifle speech on a university campus from a foreign diplomat further cements that image.
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Reader comments on this item
one more thing, THEY ARE NOT TERRORISTS!
Submitted by Debbie Tharp, Feb 16, 2010 16:40
I know a lot of these guys, and fully support their right to free speech, just as I fully support the rights of Anteaters For Isreal to free speech. This is some crazy stuff, you calling them terrorists just because they are vocal aobut their political views. Oh yeah, I read the evidence, but lets look at all of the money that is donated to Isreal too. I'm not saying either side is right. My group supports a NON INTERVENTIONIST FOREIGN POLICY. COMMON SENSE. Leave the MSU and AFI alone. Spirit and activism should be encouraged.
If you don't like it, get involved
Submitted by Debbie Tharp, Feb 16, 2010 16:34
This has been going on for a while at UCI, since 2002, and I can tell you, as an extremely active student there, that there is more than one side to this story. What you witness on the videos was a planned demonstration carried out by the MSU of more than one school. This demonstration was planned in protest to the Jewish/Palestinian conflict, and our ambassador's hawkish rhetoric and handling of the situation. If you didn't like their actions, I will point out to you that the MSU and Anteaters for Israel are the only two truly active student organizations on our campus that get any amount of outside interest and support. Perhaps you didn't like their tactics, but I can tell you that after spending many months trying to respectfully drum up some interest in my CONSERVATIVE campus organization called Young Americans for Liberty, that no one seems to hear the students who merely follow the rules. If you think that these kinds of tactics are unnecessary to have our voices heard, THEN PROVE IT WITH YOUR ACTIONS! Get involved! Help out student groups like ours. The conservative voice on my campus is being lost, or drowned out by radical and socialist politics. Please, Please, Please help!