UC Irvine Student: “I Was Terrified. There Is No Other Word to Describe How I Felt”

At UC Irvine, Jews believe wrong students were escorted out of anti-Israel mob

By Paul Miller/JNS.org

Posted on May 23, 2016 and filed under Israel, News, U.S..

The night of May 18 was supposed to be an evening of learning and conversation for Eliana Kopley. The University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) sophomore, who had just attended a lecture about the Holocaust and was walking a short distance to another campus building that was hosting a film screening about Israeli soldiers, found herself confronted by an angry mob.

“I was terrified. There is no other word to describe how I felt,” Kopley told the Haym Salomon Center.”

Kopley had intended to join 10 classmates and guests of the private event hosted by Students Supporting Israel. When she arrived, approximately 50 anti-Israel activists convened by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) were pounding on the doors and windows, and shouting violent chants targeting Israel, Jews, and the police.

As the mob tried to gain entrance to the event, one protestor yelled, “If we’re not allowed in, you’re not allowed in!”

With the angry mob physically barricading the entrance, the 20-year-old Kopley, who stands less than five feet tall, was forced to leave the scene amid taunts of “intifada, intifada—long live the intifada! F**k Israel and f**k the police.”

But Kopley was not alone. A group of female students accompanied her as she escaped to safety in a nearby building.

“When I turned back, at that moment, I looked at one of the girls and wanted to hide and cry,” Kopley said.

While the UC Irvine sophomore was hiding in darkness, the scene inside the movie screening was equally frightening.

Veteran Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier Eran Izak moved to the United States three years ago. The recently married construction worker was on hand May 18 to answer questions from the audience about his life in the IDF and the film “Beneath the Helmet.” What he experienced was something he never thought he’d see in America.

“As the film was playing we began hearing a lot of shouting outside,” said Izak. “It was immediately clear what was happening. The woman in charge of the event was literally holding the door closed with her hands as the mob tried to break into the classroom. As the shouting grew louder, it became apparent that we would not be allowed to leave, so we called campus security and the police.”

Meanwhile, the film was still playing even though nobody was paying attention by that point, as a sense of fear gripped the room.

“They were banging on the glass and the door and we could hear screaming outside,” Izak said. “The students had a look of panic on their faces—they were terrified. Finally the police arrived, pushed the protesters back a little, and escorted us to our cars.” Continue reading

UCI Israel Group President: “The Attendees Were Mostly Women and Some Felt Intimated (SIC) and Trapped Inside The Room.”

Hat Tip: Gary Fouse

Anti-Israel protesters disrupt Israeli movie screening at UC Irvine

By ROXANA KOPETMAN / STAFF WRITER

OC Register

May 19, 2016  Updated May 20, 2016 11:54 a.m.

Amid chants of “Long live the intifada,” anti-Israel student protesters disrupted the viewing of a film about Israeli soldiers at UC Irvine on Wednesday night, leading campus police to escort Jewish students away from the scene.

UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman responded Thursday with a campus-wide message saying the incident “crossed the line of civility.”

“While this university will protect freedom of speech, that right is not absolute … threats, harassment, incitement and defamatory speech are not protected. We must shelter everyone’s right to speak freely – without fear or intimidation – and allow events to proceed without disruption and potential danger,” Gillman wrote in the letter.

The administration is “investigating whether disciplinary or legal actions are appropriate,” Gillman wrote.

About a dozen students from UCI’s Students Supporting Israel met Wednesday night inside a classroom of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway to view the Israeli film, “Beneath the Helmet.”

Outside, some 50 protesters gathered and began profanity-laced chants against Israel and UCI police, according to observers and video from the scene.

“They were screaming. They tried to push open the door, but we were holding the door from the inside,” said Katrin Gendova, the Israel group president, who said the attendees were mostly women and some felt intimated and trapped inside the room. Continue reading

Just when you you thought it was safe for your Jewish Student at UC Irvine

Muslim students shut down pro-Israel event at UCI

Peter Fricke

Peter FrickeInvestigative Reporter
Campus Reform
Today at 5:33 PM EDT
  • The protesters reportedly consisted of members of the Muslim Student Union and Students for Justice in Palestine.
  • UPDATE: UCI released a statement responding to the incident, saying it is investigating “whether disciplinary or legal action is appropriate.”

An event held by a Jewish student group at the University of California, Irvine was disrupted Wednesday night by a crowd of Muslim students chanting anti-Semitic and anti-police slogans.

Ariana Rowlands, president of the College Republicans club at UCI, told Campus Reform that her group had just wrapped up its weekly meeting Wednesday night, and were gathered outside the building preparing to hang posters advertising an upcoming appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos when they heard a commotion nearby.

[RELATED: Milo quotes spark ‘homophobia’ scare at UC Irvine]

Wandering over to investigate, the CR members encountered a large group of students—Rowlands estimated there were perhaps 50 in total—holding signs and screaming in unison to protest a movie screening being held by Students Supporting Israel (SSI).

Shawn Steel, a Republican National Committee member who was on campus to address the CR meeting, posted a video on Facebook depicting a portion of the demonstration.

“Intifada, Intifada/long live the Intifada,” the protesters shout at the start of the video, following that up with a call-and-response chant of “displacing people since ‘48/there’s nothing here to celebrate!”

For video click http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=7605 Continue reading

Students Speak Out About Anti-Semitism on University of California Campuses

Does the UC System Have an Anti-Semitism Problem?

The Times of Israel Blogs,  September 25 2015

 

It was her first week back at the University of California, San Diego, and Sara Ahdoot had already become the target of an anti-Semitic attack.

A psychology senior at UCSD, Ahdoot had planned to celebrate the start of her last year of undergraduate studies with a bang: by going out to a club. However, what was supposed to be a fun night out soon became a nightmare that many Jewish college students hope to never encounter. Shortly after arriving, Ahdoot noticed a familiar face — a male member of the pro-Palestinian group at her school, Students for Justice in Palestine. He noticed her too.

“I have felt uncomfortable around this student for the past two years and he saw me at a night club,” she recounted. “And after he saw me, he confronted me with nothing but hate and would not leave me alone.”

Throughout the night, Ahdoot was harassed about her Persian origins, yelled at and flipped off.

“They followed me, and called me by my first and last name. They were yelling that I was a ‘racist Zionist cow.’ I have never felt so unsafe in my life.”

Fearing that the attack would turn violent, she fled the club on the verge of tears. For her whole college career, Ahdoot was proud of her Judaism and her love for Israel — the Jewish state. She wore her Star of David necklace everywhere she went, letting the world know that she wasn’t ashamed of her identity, or her homeland.

And yet, the night after Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, she experienced attacks from a fellow UCSD student that saw her identity and homeland as patently unacceptable. Ahdoot said, “I didn’t know anyone would actually come in my face or put me in danger until tonight. This problem is way more serious than I had imagined.”

The University of California’s Anti-Semitism Problem

Long-time examiners of anti-Semitism within the University of California system know that Ahdoot’s story is nothing new. Over the past academic year, Jewish students across the UC system have experienced an unsettling rise in anti-Semitic attacks on their identity. Just as the racism once manifested within Jim Crow laws has evolved and choked the basic equal protections enshrined in our criminal justice system, so too has anti-Semitism transformed and seeped its way through the bedrock of these universities. It has evolved to become as a new political anti-Semitism — the result of an overwhelming tide of anti-Israel activism on campuses that overstep reasonable criticism of Israel’s domestic policies into demonizing perceptions of Israel and those who call it home.

Yael Steinberg, an alumni of UC Davis is no stranger to this demonizing rhetoric when she encountered anti-Israel sentiment on campuses across the UC’s overstepping into anti-Semitism. “I have seen discussions of [boycotts against Israel] turn nasty — from describing Jews as ‘privileged’ and ‘rich,’ to calling Jews ‘baby killers’ and told to wipe the blood off their boots. It’s terrible. Jews on campus face this intolerance the most when in conjunction with discussions about Israel, which often crosses the line from debate into hate speech.” Continue reading

Frontpage Magazine Editors: “the JFOC has much to answer for”

The Attack on Frontpage from the Jewish Federation of Orange County

May 15, 2015 by   42 Comments

Unable to withstand criticism from their shameful attacks on Jewish students and pro-Israel activists exposed by Frontpage, the Jewish Federation of Orange County (JFOC) has taken to the media to slander our publication. These calumnies must not go unanswered.

On May 4th, Frontpage made public serious reports of misbehavior on the part of the JFOC at a student-run pro-Israel event held at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). One of the most notable revelations of the piece was a report that JFOC representative Lisa Armony was witnessed attempting to move pro-Israel activists waving Israeli flags away from anti-Israel protesters who ambushed the event.

Writing on behalf of the JFOC in the Jerusalem Post, http://www.jpost.com/landedpages/printarticle.aspx?id=403008,  Armony’s primary complaint was that Frontpage’s coverage was based on “unsubstantiated” information from “unnamed sources.”

In fact, the information directly related to Lisa Armony and the JFOC in this incident was based on anamed eyewitness’ account of Armony’s activity. Gary Fouse, a lecturer at UCI and credible witness, confidently affirmed to Frontpage what he saw. We subsequently reported this eyewitness account, taking the utmost care with the accuracy of its presentation. As such, accusations that Frontpage’s coverage of this incident was flawed are simply false. Continue reading

UC Irvine Pro-Israel Student Group Leader Alleges Opposition from JFOC Leader

Pro-Israel Student Group Meets Opposition from Jewish Leadership

May 4, 2015 by  FrontPage Magazine

On Thursday, April 23rd, courage, contempt and cowardice collided during a pro-Israel campus event called “iFest” that took place at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). In the middle of the festivities, the president of the student group Anteaters for Israel (AFI), which organized the three-day event, was berated and brought to tears by the president of the Jewish Federation of Orange County (JFOC), who was among the iFest attendees. According to AFI leadership, the incident affirmed that the organization’s decision to purposefully disassociate from the JFOC due to its years of questionable leadership and interference in AFI’s pro-Israel activism on campus was the right course of action.

UCI’s 8th annual iFest featured the theme “Explore Israel” and was held April 22nd-April 24th. One night of iFest programming consisted of a candlelight vigil and a tribute for members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli civilians killed by terrorists over the years. Students from the campus chapters of Hillel, Chabad and Jewish fraternal/sororal organizations spoke at the vigil. The next day AFI “organized a beautiful festival where students enjoyed falafel and BBQ, learned about Israel and won prizes, painted and created art for charity, raised money for Save A Child’s Heart, and collected 170 signatures for a ‘Solidarity Letter with Israel,’” said AFI president Sharon Shaoulian. Shaoulian also reports that the iFest Shabbat dinner held Friday was attended by more people than the previous two years and that it was the best attended Shabbat of the year, with over 85 students attending. A number of sponsors contributed to iFest, including the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), StandWithUs, CAMERA on Campus, the Israel on Campus Coalition, and Hasbara. Continue reading

The 2015 Version of the Annual MSU/SJP Anti-Israel Diatribe at UC-Irvine

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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