Latest onsite report from Gary Fouse
On Tuesday, the Muslim Student Union continued their anti-Israel week at UC-Irvine. At 12 noon, they opened their program with Jim Lafferty, a lawyer from LA. Lafferty is with the LA chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, a liberal legal activist group. He is also associated with Answer, an anti-war group and KPFK Radio, a far-left radio station in Los Angeles.
Mr. Lafferty’s theme was, as expected, an indictment of Israel, "an illegal occupier of the Palestinian people’s land". According to Mr. Lafferty, Israel is a racist, genocidal state (sound familiar?)
According to Lafferty, Israel was created by the Western powers at the end of World War 2. It was decided to create this state in the Middle East because the West wanted to have a friendly, Western-oriented state there to act as a bulwark in the West’s efforts to obtain Middle East oil. (I guess Mr. Lafferty never considered the fact that we have been buying that oil all this time from countries like Saudi Arabia.)
He also cautioned the crowd not to believe that the election of Barack Obama would change US policy since Obama “had recently met with American Jewish leaders and assured them of his continuing support for Israel”.
Not content to bash Israel, Mr. Lafferty also launched into a simultaneous attack on the “imperialistic” US. Throughout his talk, he alternated between references to "racist genocidal" Israel and the "imperialistic" US. Score another one for the MSU in bringing anti-American speakers to campus. (Hopefully, people have noticed a pattern by now.)
He also took a shot at the Jewish students at UCI (“our Jewish brothers and sisters”), who had set up posters warning of a "Hate Speech zone” prior to hearing what he had to say-even though he proceeded to fulfill the prediction. He also ominously stated that he had just been informed by "student leaders" that there was not a level playing field for groups expressing their views in this area. He implied that his organization (the National Lawyers Guild) might "do something to make sure everyone had a level playing field", whatever that means. (Maybe his group will file a lawsuit demanding that Jewish students be expelled from UCI.)
After his talk, a Jewish student asked him how Israel could be genocidal when the Palestinian population has actually increased over the decades. In his answer, Mr. Lafferty "clarified" that by saying he was referring to “genocidal policies” (whatever that means).
When asked his opinion of a 2-state solution, he opined that it was all up to the Palestinians. He said that usually the ideal solution is for all parties to live together in harmony, but it was all up to the Palestinians. I took that to mean that whether Jews could remain in the region or live in harmony was all up to the Palestinians. I guess if the Palestinians decide to expel the Jews-or worse, that’s their choice, according to Mr. Lafferty.
Since Lafferty ran out of things to say in 30 minutes, and only a couple of people had questions, Lafferty was followed by an impromptu appearance by Craig and Cindy Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie, an American activist, who was killed when she sat down in front of an Israeli bulldozer as it tried to tear down a house. They were scheduled to make a longer appearance later that evening, but came to the microphone to say a few words. They seem like decent people and did not engage in any harsh rhetoric against Israel or the US. They are, of course, sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and seem interested in peace in the region. It is hard to criticize people in their position. Everyone processes their grief in different ways, and this seems to be the way they are processing theirs. I think they are mistaken in their sympathies and being exploited, but I re-emphasize that, unlike someone like Cindy Sheehan, they don’t seem to have turned against their own country.
A few other observations:
Before the program began, I watched a Jewish fellow wearing a yarmulke having a polite debate with 4 or 5 Muslim students. I found that encouraging.
Less encouraging is the wall that the Muslims have put up as a display. Among other things, there is a quotation by H. Rap Brown, former Black Panther from the 1960s. He is now a converted Muslim. (I forget his Muslim name.) There is, of course, no mention that he is now in prison for the murder of a police officer just a few years back. Then there is a drawing of Ariel Sharon made in the old style of Julius Streicher’s Der Stuermer in the Nazi era, hooked nose, big lips and all. It must be said that these young MSU folks are not very sophisticated in their PR.
That evening, I attended David Horowitz’s lecture on campus. His speech had been shifted to an out of the way location away from the Student Center. The room had no microphone, and when Horowitz attempted to draw a map of Israel on the whiteboard, he discovered that of the 20 or so markers, none had any ink.
Without me going into detail, he opened his presentation by stating unequivocally that UCI was absolutely the worst campus in the country when it came to anti-Semitic activity and the administration’s failure to confront it. Two deans were in the audience, Sally Peterson and Edgar Dormitorio, both of whom are antagonistic toward the concerns of UCI’s Jewish students. During the question and answer session, I pointed out to Horowitz that 99% of the students at UCI have nothing to do with the ugliness, but that we had 2 problems: the MSU and the administration, which was “in the tank for the MSU” and was hiding under their desks, either out of fear, apathy or just not caring about their Jewish students. I implored Horowitz to keep the public spotlight on UCI because the public needs to know what is going on our campuses. Horowitz urged me to keep him informed of what is going on. (I will.)
There are two more days to report on. That is if I don’t get fired today. These academic types have no sense of humor, you know.
A note from Radarsite: This is the latest in a continuing series of reports from the frontlines of one of America's most leftist universities by our insider friend and UCI faculty member Gary Fouse.
ISP: American Federation Of Teachers
ISP: American Federation Of Teachers
Entry Page Time: 16th May 2008 09:26:07
Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States
[“Day 3 of Hate-fest Week at UCI”]