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Campus Hotbed

Campus Hotbed

Alarming anti-Israel activity at UC Irvine and other universities.

by Natalie Menaged and Alan Levine

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's lecture at UC Irvine on Monday, February 8 was the latest in a series of events that have been aggressively disrupted by anti-Israel protestors in recent weeks.

Click below to see footage of the event, courtesy of Stand With Us.

 

Oren was interrupted repeatedly by a large and well-organized crowd of anti-Israel protestors. 11 students were arrested for disrupting the event by shouting insults such as "How many Palestinians have you killed?" and "Propagating murder is not an expression of free speech." Eventually dozens of protestors stood up and exited the lecture hall in the middle of the event, gathering outside to chant slogans such as "Anti-baby killing, anti-Israel."

Students and community members expected that kind of behavior, which unfortunately is typical for UCI's Muslim Student Union over the years. The group has received attention in Congress for allegedly raising funds for the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist organization.

Pro-Israel students have worked diligently to represent Israel prominently and positively on campus. The student organization Anteaters for Israel, buoyed by a support network including Hillel, the Orange County Federation and national organizations such as Hasbara Fellowships, have focused intently on training their students to combat anti-Israel propaganda, elicit support from the UC Irvine administration, and provide innovative educational programming to the greater university community.

"I'm proud of our pro-Israel students and Ambassador Michael Oren, who successfully finished his speech and the event. The disruptors failed to ruin our event and suppress free speech, and in response our students and community are stronger and more united," said Moran Cohen, President of Anteaters for Israel and a Hasbara Fellow.

The disruption at Irvine is one in a number of incidents where virulent protestors have attempted to shut down pro-Israel activity this month. Last week at York University, Hasbara Fellows assembled a display to raise awareness about Hamas and kidnapped Israeli solider Gilad Shalit. After tabling for several hours, the pro-Israel students were surrounded by a group of angry anti-Israel protesters, shouting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic slurs. York University is investigating the assault.

The same evening as Oren's speech, anti-Israel activists disrupted a talk at the UCLA law school by Daniel Taub, Senior Deputy Legal Adviser to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Protestors wearing anti-Israel t-shirts and duct tape on their mouths blocked the stage until the police removed them from the premises. A speech by former Israeli MK Effie Eitam at the University of Pittsburgh last week was similarly interrupted, while Hasbara trained student leaders at the University of Pennsylvania and UC Santa Barbara returned from winter vacation to graphic exhibits commemorating the so-called "Gaza Massacre".

As the spring semester has traditionally been a time of intense anti-Israel activity on university campuses - including an alarming proliferation of so-called "Israel Apartheid Week" events - student leaders are not waiting to react to this type of activity; rather, they are organizing proactive initiatives. Hasbara Fellows from Johns Hopkins University, Boston University, University of Cincinnati, University of Rochester, and University of Ottawa are spearheading an international initiative called Israel Peace Week (IPW), set to take place during the first week of March. Pro-Israel students at more than 20 universities in the US, Canada, England and Australia have joined the IPW movement, organizing programming to educate their peers about Israel's pursuit of peace, its lack of a true partner for peace, its thriving democratic nature and altruistic contributions to the world community. Many schools, including the University of Virginia, Queen's University and York University, are utilizing Hasbara's new campaign, "Hamas: The Obstacle to Peace" to educate their campuses about the real cause of the current conflict, while others like Miami University of Ohio, Michigan State University and Hunter College are screening the new film, "Crossing the Line: The Intifada Comes to Campus" to rally their pro-Israel base.

The alarming disruptions at recent pro-Israel events indicate that anti-Israel activists, faced with sophisticated and engaging pro-Israel movements on their campuses, have little to offer in terms of meaningful response or dialog. Instead, their goal is to limit pro-Israel speech and assembly, mirroring the extremist terrorist groups they support. While we must be on guard against this type of behavior, perhaps we should also view it as a compliment to our efforts and anti-Israel fear in the face of our truth.

Published: February 13, 2010


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Visitor Comments: 24

(23) JULIUS ROMANOFF, February 24, 2010 7:11 PM

How to Change Behavior

Book review of "Eat, Play, Love Then What" by Sara Rigler a comment made was, in my opinion, significant. Philosophers have stated that the entire bedrock of Western culture is based on two rival worldviews- the Greek and the Hebrew. Whichever side you embrace more strongly determines to a large extent how you see life. From the Greeks-we have inherited our ideas about secular humanism and the sanctity of the individual. Hebrew is shorthand for an ancient worldview that is all about tribalism, faith, obedience and respect. The collective is more important than the individual, morality is more important than happiness, and vows are inviolable. The problem is that modern Western culture has somehow inherited both these worldviews, but we have been unable to reconcile them because they are not reconcilable. Our legal code is mostly Greek; our moral code is mostly Hebrew. We have no way of thinking about independence and intellect and the sanctity of the individual that is not Greek. We have no way of thinking about righteousness and G-d's will that is not Hebrew.

(22) Jonathan Johnson, February 16, 2010 8:31 PM

U. S. freedoms abused by arbis

Ths shows case and point of what is going on in the United States and England. Aribs are using our freedoms to sooner or later attack us under our freedoms that we have in the western world. Isn't that what Cruchef said the USSR would use or do?

(21) nadine, February 16, 2010 2:03 PM

Barbaric Arabs

How can we Jews ever expect to negotiate with barbarians??? There is nothing rational or reasonable about these people and for Israel and the world in general to ask sensible, open minded people to deal with rubbish like this (and who in my opinon represent the vast majority of the Arab world) is foolish to the nth degree. The saddest part of all is that the bleeding heart liberals of this world, including many Jews feel sorry for them and their cause. How on earth can they justify this sympathy??? Shame on them!

(20) Anonymous, February 16, 2010 9:37 AM

attended York U in 2003, Osgoode Hall, for law. While there, I was stalked by a pervert, and no one did ONE thing about it, until an alumnae female lawyer friend stepped in to help me. Also, the entire time while there, Muslims - radical - were meeting in the building where the book store, restaurants etc. are located. The front of this building is all glass, so you are seen far and wide. The Muslim groups posted their malicious garbage over everything, signs, posters, you name it, they could put them EVERYWHERE. The one building where they posted the most was the LaMarshe Centre which was designed and conceived to get rid of violence against all peoples, women specifically, races second. York U is a toilet, the place is not worth attending, even the Jews that teach there are so ashamed of who and what they are, it is heartbreaking. They do not stand with their own, and I could take NO MORE of that place, whereby I left before completing the final exam. A Gentile professor called me and asked if I wanted to do the exam, I said yes, but I cannot return to that school. He arranged for me to take the exam somewhere else, and passed me with flying colors. So as for York U, where a huge number of the student body are Jews, we need to demonstrate, keep our kids OUT of that place, and make sure we get as much press as possible to show them up for what they are. It's atrocious that Jewish women are not safe, nor Jewish anyone in that place. It should have closed down years ago. I trust we shall not now be hearing about Jews donating money to that stink hole. We have many fine JEWISH universities that need our money, NOT YORK. Thanks for letting me spout off here, hope it does some good

(19) Zamaaz, February 16, 2010 9:18 AM

The trouble with trouble

The trouble with trouble The trouble with trouble is that though you may speaking the facts you believed in, when you show a trouble maker character like as what the anti-Israel militants are doing in western campuses, they lose their credibility among the general public in an educated or well aware community... It is because action proves best and more about your distorted, narrow, and short-minded mental capacity. Why should I believe on you when you have no capacity to think broadly and with soberity? Otherwise I am simply joining the community of fools! It is true indeed, even written in the holy Scriptures, that there are people who really are naturally ‘born losers’. They have human intelligence, but devoid of deeper spiritual intellect….

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