New English Review: Jewish Federation leader allegedly hits UCI Professor with coiled up flyers after “heated verbal exchange”.

Does The Olive Tree Initiative Lack Credibility?

Jerry Gordon

New English Review (July 2011)

On May 9th, the President of the Jewish Federation & Family Services of Orange County, California (JFOC), Shalom Elcott, was loitering on the plaza during the first day of the 2011l anti-Israel Apartheid Awareness Week organized by the Muslim Student Union (MSU)at University of California, Irvine (UCI). He encountered Professor Amihai Glazer. Glazer was one of 60 faculty members who had signed a letter expressing the view that antisemitism did indeed exist on the UCI campus – Islamic antisemitism. The conversation became heated when Elcott suddenly hit Glazer with coiled up flyers after Glazer told him he had “a credibility problem.”

Elcott is the brother of Prof. David Elcott of NYU Wagner College. David Elcott is a former US Interreligious Affairs Director of the American Jewish Committee. He left to become executive director of the J Street ally, the Israel Policy Forum (IPF). His successor at the IPF is MJ Rosenberg an active supporter of J Street’s mantra of “pro- Israel and pro-Peace” seeking immediatedeclaration of a Palestinian State.

One potential problem at UCI was the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI). The OTI was co-founded as a student led group in 2008 that included former Muslim Student Union President, Ali Malik, Isaac Yerushalmi, former head of Anteaters for Israel, and then graduate student, now director of the OTI, Daniel Wehrenfennig. The objective of the OTI program, sponsored by the JFOC Rose Project, was to send Jewish and non-Jewish students to Israel and the West Bank to expose them to a variety of views from Israeli and Palestinian representatives so they might gain an understanding of all sides of the issues.

Jewish student leaders at UCI Hillel, local JFOC officials and Jewish students who have gone on OTI sponsored trips persist in saying that antisemitism doesn’t exist on campus. Continue reading

Sign the Petition to UC President Mark Yudof

Dear Task Force friends,

As a follow-up to last  year’s letter to UC President Mark Yudof, which 12 organizations  — including  your own — signed, my colleague Dr. Leila Beckwith and I have recently posted  another on-line letterto President Yudof, urging him to forcefully and  promptly address the problem of the harassment and intimidation of Jewish students on UC campuses.  We are hoping that thousands of Jewish community members will join us in signing this follow-up letter.

Could you please forward the following to your email subscribers?

Many thanks,
Tammi

Dear Jewish Community of California,

Bigotry against Jewish students has occurred on University of California campuses over many years and on many campuses.  Jewish students have been subjected to: swastikas; acts of physical aggression; speakers, films and exhibits that use anti-Semitic imagery and discourse; speakers that praise and encourage support for terrorist organizations; the organized disruption of events sponsored by Jewish student groups; and most recently the promotion of student senate resolutions for divestment from Israel that seek to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish State.

Last May, more than 700 Jewish UC students signed a petition expressing outrage at anti-Jewish rhetoric and imagery on their campuses.  They asserted that these incidents are as offensive and hurtful to Jewish students as a “Compton cookout” or a noose are to African American students. In addition, dozens of Jewish students from three different UC campuses, who responded to an on-line questionnaire, described feeling harassed and intimidated by the promotion of hatred against the Jewish State and of Jews.  Almost all of the students felt that the administrators on their campuses did not treat Jewish concerns as sensitively as they did the concerns of other minorities such as African Americans and Latinos.

In June 2010, leaders of 12 Jewish organizations, including the Orthodox Union and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, wrote to UC President Mark Yudof, expressing their concerns about the hostile environment faced by Jewish students on UC campuses, and calling on him to address this serious problem immediately.  President Yudof responded by asking Jewish leaders to have patience and faith in the newly-established Advisory Councils on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion. Over the last year, however, these Advisory Councils have failed to address, or even acknowledge, the problem of anti-Semitism on UC campuses.  In fact, the aims and actions of the Advisory Councils since their inception, as revealed by documents released under a  Freedom of Information request, show that Jewish students are not a focus at all. Continue reading

Jewish Students to ASUCI: “When will the student government stand up for me?”

(The OCITF applauds the Jewish students for speaking out against censorship and “years” of anti-Semitism at UC Irvine)

Jewish Student Leader addressing the UCI Student Council:

….The same powers that oppressed my mother and the Jews of Egypt, have followed us here to this campus…”

“How many members of this council understand the history of anti-Semitism on this campus and the history of the Muslim Student Union on this campus?”

Note: Only one member of the Student Council that unanimously voted for resolution R45-66 Resolution condemning academic repercussions for nonviolent protest, was present at the disruption of Ambassador Oren’s Speech.

OC Register Editiorial “It is up to UCI Chancellor Michael Drake to set the rules and boundaries of behavior and enforce them…”

Editorial: Stifling discussion isn’t free speech

2010-02-25 17:35:05

protester-israel-ambassad

The campus at UC Irvine has become a hotbed of tension between Muslim and Jewish students, divided along the always-contentious debate surrounding Israel and Palestine.

The latest major incident occurred Feb. 8, when a raucous group of 11 students, mostly from UCI and including the president of the UCI Muslim Student Association, repeatedly interrupted a speech being delivered by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren. Protesters in the audience stood up and shouted barely understandable tirades, condemning Israeli policies, in general, and the ambassador, in particular, while he was attempting to address 500 attendees at UCI’s Pacific Ballroom, according to news reports and videos (see videos at our blog, ocregister.com/orangepunch.) Continue reading

To: UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake

“We have 1,000 guest speakers on campus every year. Could I evaluate them and say this one is anti-Semitic? I could not. What I could say is that as a person and a campus, we abhor hate speech, period.” –Chancellor Michael Drake. Read it here

Courtesy of the  ZOA.   This petition is being circulated by a concerned community member.

OVER  5,500 SIGNATURES!!

sign the petition here:

To:  UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake

We, the undersigned, call on you to speak out and publicly condemn the annual Israel-bashing event on campus that is being sponsored by UC Irvine’s Muslim Student Union from May 5-21, 2009. The title alone – “Israel: The Politics of Genocide” – reflects that this event, like previous Muslim Student Union events, will demonize Israel and make false and hateful accusations against Israel and Jews. Individuals scheduled to speak at this event have a record of making hateful and vilifying statements about Jews, Zionism and Israel. A program like this one can promote violence against Jews on campus and beyond.

In addition to publicly condemning this event that will promote hatred of Jews and Israel, we call on you to condemn the Muslim Student Union, the perpetrators of the anti-Semitic bigotry. This group continues to violate the values and principles of the UC Irvine community that specifically call for “a learning climate free from expressions of bigotry.”

As an American, you have the right to speak out and explicitly denounce anti-Semitism, especially when it occurs on your campus. As an educational leader, you have the moral obligation to speak out.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned