I have previously written about a protest that occurred at UC-Irvine (March 2, 2010) as a reaction to racially-tinged incidents at UC San Diego and the February 8th arrests of 11 students for disrupting the speech of the Israeli ambassador The below video is courtesy of the Orange County Register. The principle organizers were the Black Student Union (BSU)and the Muslim Student Union (MSU). Here is a video of the event that shows two speakers, one a recent UCI grad and James Lafferty of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles.
The below video filmed by Anteaters for Israel contains interviews of two Jewish UCI students during the protest
The below video is in Hebrew. A group of Israeli high school students participated in the counter-protest with Anteaters for Israel.
Meanwhile, local Jewish Federation CEO Shalom Elcott, who was present, told the Orange County Register,
“It was civil discourse of two different opinions,” said Shalom C. Elcott, CEO of the Jewish Foundation of Orange County, describing the event, “Although, there was a lack of factual dialogue.”
A Jewish student is overcome with emotion yesterday at the UCI protest
Interesting take from Elcott, who has spent years denying the problems on the UCI campus, but, since the February 8th event, is now being interviewed by every reporter he can find and acting like he is leading the charge.
"It was an example of free speech at its most dramatic," said Cathy Lawhon, University spokeswoman.
I take note that Jim Lafferty, head of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles was back to defend the "Irvine 11" and repeat the talking point that the Israeli Ambassador was able to finish his speech on February 8th after being disrupted by members of the Muslim Student Union (conveniently leaving out the fact that the speech was only concluded after the MSU left the hall and that during the ambassador's "20-minute break" due to the multiple disruptions, it was not clear whether he would return). Oh, by the way, did Lafferty inform the audience that the NLG was created in the 1930s as a legal arm of the Communist Party USA? Probably not.
On Wednesday, a group of BSU members held a "silent protest" at the Student Center at UCI. The students stood silently with their mouths taped shut. As I understand it, the students were saying that they have no voice at the UC campuses.
This is curious since students are freely using their freedom to protest and speak out all day long as we are all seeing. The catalyst is largely the events at UCSD last month with the so-called "Compton Cookout" and the discovery of a noose in the UCSD library. An unidentified female has come forward and given an explanation that she innocently left the noose in the library. (You can see her letter on my previous post.)That letter raises more questions than it answers. The school has not identified the person, but she has identified herself as a minority. The explanation of how she came into possession of the rope, how it became a noose, and how she left it in the library is somewhat hard to accept. If her account is true, then why was she immediately suspended? Something is fishy. Is UCSD holding something back? I frankly don't care to know the girl's name, but I think the best tonic for this troubling story is the full truth.
I would also like to ask why the controversy in San Diego has morphed into yet another protest against Israel at UCI. True, we have had our own unfortunate incident on February 8th, when the Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, had his speech disrupted by members of the MSU, who were charged with disrupting a public event. As I have previously stated, whatever happened at UCSD merits a full disclosure and, if appropriate, suitable punishment. I think it is good that UCSD students stood together with their black fellow students as a sign of support for them. Yet, the activists always take one incident and use it as a soapbox to launch into tirades about "all the injustices of America"-including Israel. As I stated, I was not at the March 2nd UCI event, but one (Jewish) person I talked to that was there heard a lot of references to "Zionist Power". I sure hope the protesters will not take what happened at UCSD and link that to "Zionist Power". I hope they will not try to make the case that there is a connection between "Zionist Power" and standing silently with mouths taped. There is no connection.
While we are on the subject, it's time we strip the facade away from this use of the term "Zionist". It is code language meaning...
If you are going to try and blame "Zionists" for problems in the United States, you might as well go ahead and say it:
Because that is what they mean. In the world of the anti-Semite, the Jew is responsible for all of the world's problems. Banking? Run by Jews. Hollywood? Run by Jews. Doctors? Too many Jews. Lawyers? Mostly Jews. Neo-Cons? All Jews. Media? Jews. As Amir Abdel Malik Ali himself informed us in a speech at UCI, "Rupert Murdoch is a straight-up Zionist Jew." As if Jews should be embarrassed about excelling in so many professional fields.
I'll give you a pass when you use the term "Zionist Power" to refer to the military might of Israel. But if that term is applied to anything going on here in the US, I'm going to take it as anti-Semitic. Israel is Israel. America is America. Neither Zionism nor Israel has anything to do with "Compton Cookouts" or nooses being found in university libraries. Let's keep those discussions separate.