On October 2, 2009 , the Orange County Independent Task Force on anti-Semitism (OCITF) received a carbon copy of a response to concerns raised by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) from Diane Fields Geocaris, UCI’s Chief Campus Counsel. (To read the letter, click here.) According to the ZOA, “the Muslim Student Union (MSU) a registered student group on campus, may have illegally used the University of California, Irvine (UCI) as a base for fund-raising for the terrorist group Hamas.”
On May 21, 2009, as part of “Israel: the Politics of Genocide,” the MSU featured George Galloway, a member of the British Parliament, whose topic was “Viva Palestina, Galloway’s convoy to Gaza…”. ZOA’s letter alleges that: “Prior to the program, MSU specifically affirmed in writing that this was not going to be a fundraiser. Yet, according to the ZOA, at the program, both MSU and Mr Galloway solicited funds for Viva Palestina from the over 850 people in attendance and we are concerned that the funds may have been delivered to Hamas in Gaza in July 2009.” Hamas has been designated by the US State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and providing material support and resources to an FTO is a violation of federal law. The ZOA letter states that several University policies were violated during this event and that at least four campus administrators were present, but did nothing to stop the unauthorized and “potentially illegal” fund raising activities.
Geocaris’ September 30, 2009 letter stated in part: “the University has referred that matter to law enforcement officials for action as they deem appropriate.” Additionally, with regard to the conduct of University employees and that the MSU may have violated University policies, UCI notified the ZOA that the University has “initiated an internal review of these matters, and will proceed as expeditiously as possible.” (emphasis added)