OC Jewish Experience

The official blog of Jewish Orange County

Must See Video From Jewish Students at UC Irvine

It is finals week at UC Irvine but that does not mean the Jewish students on campus are taking it easy.  Besides having to worry about grades  and eventually spring break, 35 students representing various campus groups attended a student government meeting last week when they  probably should have been studying.  However, this issue was important.

Let’s briefly review the last 6 weeks or so.  On February 8th, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren came to the school to address the students and the community.  The Muslim student union, in an organized protest, tried to prevent the Ambassador from giving his speech and as a result,  11 people were arrested.

The Muslims then led protests on campus (see other videos in this blog) and while the University investigates, everyone awaits a decision.  The District attorney is also awaiting the outcome of the University investigation.

That said, ASUCI, the student government at UC Irvine, passed legislation condoning the disrupters behavior and condemned the administration for excessive punishment.  Let’s be clear.  ASUCI, passed a resolution in support of the 11 arrested students without knowing all of the issues.

This resolution was mentioned  in the blog a little over a week ago and if you want to read more, you can click here.  The Jewish students on campus had heard enough and wanted one voice to be present and to ask what the student government was thinking when they passed the resolution in support of the Irvine 11.

The following video, documents this meeting with the student government, where they asked why ASUCI is not speaking for the Jewish students and also asking the student government to defend the free speech of visitors like Ambassador Oren.  The name of the video is UC Irvine Jewish Students Break the Silence

The students are also working to repeal the last legislation.  The following information is from the ASUCI web site. It will most likely be voted on Week 1 or 2 of Spring Quarter.

REQUEST FOR ACTION BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

All requests may be typed and submitted to the Executive Vice President no later 5:00 p.m. Thursday in order to be included in the agenda for the following Tuesday. The Executive Vice President reserves the right to delay the Request for Action to a later Council session if the Executive Vice President feels the agenda for the next schedule meeting is full.

Item Number: 100 Legislation Number (B: Bill, R: Resolution): R45-82
Author: Carson Hobart Second: Walter Rodriguez
Synopsis: Resolution Condoning Students Rights To Meet in an Unrestricted Environment
Date of Presentation: 03.09.10

Whereas, on February 8th, 2010 the University of California, Irvine welcomed the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, to discuss United States – Israel relations,

Whereas, eleven students in the crowd stood up and spoke out against the Ambassador, expressing their political opinion,

Whereas this event, and others like it, have created an unstable atmosphere on campus regarding the rights of students and free speech,

Whereas, the University of California is committed to fostering a safe and open environment for the free exchange of ideas,

Whereas, the University of California appreciates and celebrates diversity,

Whereas, disrupters (of any value, belief, or group) of any campus event poorly represent the values and foundations of the University of California as a whole,

Whereas, Mark G. Yudof (President of University of California) publically admitted that, “Chancellor Drake is responsible for ensuring members of the campus community at the University of California, Irvine [be] allowed to exercise their own speech rights, [and] a university is a special place for the exchange of view and ideas, and it is critical that our policies be conductive to a spirited intellectual life” [1],

Whereas, UCI also serves as an environment for the free expression of ideas on anybody’s behalf through scheduled forum,

Whereas, every student is entitled freedom of speech by the U.S. Constitution,

Whereas, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore announced that, “Free speech in America doesn’t mean you have a right to shout [people] down…It means you can have your own event and protest, but you should do so elsewhere,” emphasizing mutual respect [2],

Whereas one’s freedom of speech is inhibited by another’s expression of freedom of speech in a disorganized fashion,

Whereas, a precedent protecting students and their right to convene uninterrupted should be established to continue to serve the image of UCI’s safe and respectable environment,

Whereas, respect should be an utmost priority for every individual on the University of California,Irvine campus,

Whereas, the desire to foster healthy debate still remains to be a privilege of this campus’ students,

Whereas, Resolution R45-66 presented on 03.04.10 titled, “Resolution condemning academic repercussions for nonviolent protest,” set an unforeseen precedent that no meeting, of any type, and no speaker from any organization, is protected against impediments of opposing viewpoints,

Let it be resolved that a protocol be designed that protects the rights of individuals and groups by providing the opportunity to be heard in a respectful environment.

Furthermore, let it be resolved that from this moment forward this right should be guaranteed to anyone on campus and protected by the administration; this respect may be preserved by punishing those responsible for disrespectful interruptions as seen fit by the University of California, Irvine administration.

[1] President Yudof’s response to those writing him re the UCI Muslim Student Union’s series, Israel: the Politics of Genocide

[2] Article on Southern California Public Radio website discussing the Michael Oren event-

DeVore (quoted) is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

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March 17, 2010 - Posted by | Free Speech, Israel, UC Irvine | , , , , , ,

15 Comments »

  1. I am an alumnus of UCI. I will no longer donate money to the school until the Jewish minority on campus is shown the respect and support that they deserve.

    Comment by Ellen Sternberg Prince | March 17, 2010 | Reply

  2. I was present with members of Temple judea Laguna woods (50 members) the evening Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. spoke at U.C.I. He was interrupted 11 times & left the podium four times due to the disgraceful behavior of the Muslim students. He was determined to speak , and he did speak eloquently. Chancellor Drake informed the audience that those sdudents would be expelled. It would be an injustice and a terrible mark against U.C.I if no action was taken against those students. I would appreciate a response to my email. Thank you.

    Comment by Rose Glasser | March 19, 2010 | Reply

  3. Good for them . . . it’s about time someone stood up for RIGHT!

    Comment by Wendy Brooks | March 19, 2010 | Reply

  4. I think it is time that Jewish Groups in this country start worrying about protecting Jews instead relying on other people to do it. The problem is Jewish community is this country is divided. Reform Judaism is the root of the problem.

    Comment by DAG | March 19, 2010 | Reply

    • This statement is what divides the Jews. There’s a hint of anti-semitism right here. The Jewish Federation is very involved in protecting the rights of all Jews, and the member base consists of many Jews who practice Reform Judaism. Let us not get distracted with our own bias and rather come together to correct the problems on the UCI campus.

      Comment by Ellen Sternberg Prince | March 20, 2010 | Reply

      • Ellen

        The problems go beyond UCI, Jews have to put with intimation and hatred on other college campuses around country. Schools like UC Berkley, UCSD just to name of few. The marjory of is coming from Muslim Groups. The problem has gotten worse over the past decade and the Jew groups have NOT done enough to stop it.

        How is my comment on Reform Judaism anti semitism? Please explain.

        Comment by DAG | March 20, 2010

      • DAG, I agree with your last post. I guess that I should ask how “Reform Judaism is the root of the problem.” Then, we can get back to the original post and help the students who are being demeaned and abused.

        Comment by Ellen Sternberg Prince | March 20, 2010

  5. I have been called a whore, monkey and pig with my son at my side at an event at UCI in 2002. I was almost arrested for refusing to be intimidated by 100 MSU students, making the gesture of slitting my throat, and my 14 year old son’s. The campus police stepped back when my husband, an attorney, came up and reminded them who was acting out of control. The rest of the Jewish audience came down from the auditorium and joined me, singing and dancing the hora, drowning out the hate.. What aroused these students more than anything was my jewish pride and lack of fear to stand alone before them, with dignity and confidence. I could feel the knives in my back. I have written the Chancellor and all I get is an auto response, saying that the University protects free speech. I have 5 children, and none of them will attend UCi, and we can literally throw a rock onto the campus parking lot. I would rather send them to private universities, even if it costs me double that of UC. I do not wish to have my children stunted in their intellectual pursuit by these spoiled, bratty hatemongers.

    Comment by deborah Lurya | March 19, 2010 | Reply

  6. It is time for the people in the community and ALL responsible organizations recognize at long last that there will be no substantive change at UCI unless two things happen:

    1. The MSU must be suspended as a recognized campus organization and then be put on probation until they can demonstrate that they are willing and capable of abiding by the UCI Principles of Community and UC Codes and Policies the same as all other student organizations.

    2. Chancellor Drake must be replaced. He has demonstrated that he is not able to deal with the multiple violations of the Muslim Student Union over the term of his office. The most he is able to bring himself to say publicly is that he abhors all bad things in the abstract. He refuses to name the violations, the perpetrators, or the victims. He insinuates that the Jewish students are as guilty of these violations as the Muslim students and that is not the case.

    It is now been 10 months (!) since the illegal Galloway fundraiser for a Hamas front organization was sponsored by the MSU on the UCI campus. It has been six months since UCI announced that it was instituting an “investigation”. Presumably they would investigate how such a large event which violated so many campus policies, even with the Chief Judicial Officer present, could have occurred after the MSU simply lied on their event application saying it was NOT going to be a fundraiser. UCI is investigating itself in this process and, as can be expected, there has been no disciplinary action taken against the MSU or the UCI administrators who allowed and enabled the event and the subsequent cover-up. They hope it will just be forgotten.

    These recurring indulgences have encouraged the MSU to become more aggressive so that they are now able to employ the “Heckler’s Veto” to disrupt and attempt to shut down any speech they don’t like, as they did in the Michael Oren event. Now they attempt to defend their Brownshirt tactics by calling it a Freedom of Speech issue.

    Unless these two changes are made, the MSU can continue to wonder what will be denied them. Everything has been allowed and forgiven. The administration and faculty are biased to the point where the question is not so much who should not go to UCI but to who would want to go to UCI.

    Comment by Marty Migdall | March 20, 2010 | Reply

  7. In lieu of this story, it is good to see students taking action on a gross disruption of an organized, peaceful educational event in having Mr. Oren there. I could not agree more in that the UCI should be taken more action and allow contained protests in light of Freedom of Speech. I would never support UCI in any way ever again. If this what has come of “Freedom of Speech”, then my otherwise peaceful, respectful, and attempt to encourage humanism with all races get heaved out with the smelly bathwater. I may as well have every legal right to put my fist directly through those who make this type of gross disruption. Hey UCI, why don’t you start encouraging organized highly disruptive protests against proper and well thought out diversity to accomodate your &$#@ all mighty tuition dollar????

    regards, Non UCI graduate humanist

    Comment by Joseph Fischman | March 20, 2010 | Reply

  8. It’s time we demand the District Attorney to press charges…the charges that the UCI President so eloquently promised us that night. I was there and a lot of empty promises were made…time to demand them. Expel the students and prosecute…that was the promise..and like all Anti Semitics before them…they just appease us and hope we will forget.
    We will not forget…write to the DA …make him prosecute.
    Let them serve jail time…that will slow them down.

    Comment by Ben Gargle | March 21, 2010 | Reply

  9. This is a horrible situation. These Muslim students were told that they would be disciplined if they disrupted the Israeli Ambassador’s speech. Nothing has been done. I think that we cannot talk about Tikkun Olam until we take action in our own community. I favor a march or large scale protest in Orange County.

    Comment by Sherri Brash | March 21, 2010 | Reply

  10. I disagree with those who say they will not send their kids to UCI. That is exactly the type of response the MSU types want.

    UC Irvine is a great school. Don’t let a handful of punks and wantabe thugs deter you from sending your kids to the school.

    lol @ the kids who thought that trampling over a fundamental right of free speech by repeatedly disrupting a lecture at a university because they thought their cause is so worthy are now saying they are being unfairly picked on because they are Muslim. These kids not only do not understand the First Amendment. They are also cowards who are not willing to face consequences for their boorish behavior.

    Comment by j kilogre | April 1, 2010 | Reply

  11. A University must set a possitive example for its students and the general population. When the actions of any individual or group interfer with the rights of another to freedom of speech the University must react immediately and firmly or be seen to condone the act.

    I expect to see the actions of UCI published where all can see and take note. I expect the district attorney’s office to act as the individuals had been notified they would be prosecuted if they caused a disruption.

    This should have been anticipated as there have been many previous acts by the MSU contrary to University rules and regulations.

    Comment by Theodore Farkas | April 6, 2010 | Reply

  12. It is clear now from newly discovered emails and despite their many public denials, that the MSU planned to disrupt the Ambassador’s address at UCI.
    http://www.investigativeproject.org/1892/the-msu-plot-to-silence-israels-ambassador
    It has been 11 months since the illegal Galloway fundraiser was held on UCI campus. Despite their counsel’s representation over 6 months ago, there has been no internal “investigation” of the matter. They are not likely to investigate themselves on how it was that the MSU was able to hold a large fundraiser for a terrorist front organization on campus simply by lying on the event application. They are not going to investigate themselves for their ongoing cover-up. They are letting both episodes fade away without doing anything and they have been successful so far.

    Unless all come to face the facts on what a biased anti-Semitic place UCI is and demand that the MSU be suspended and Drake be removed as Chancellor nothing will change there. The MSU will be comforted by the fact that nothing they do will be confronted.

    Anyone contemplating going there should know these facts of life.

    Comment by Marty Migdall | April 7, 2010 | Reply


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