DA: “History requires us to draw a line in the sand against this sort of organized thuggery.”

Making Martyrs of the Irvine 11

IPT News
October 3, 2011

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas pushed backlast week against critics of his successful prosecution of 10 students who tried to shut down a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren last year at the University of California, Irvine.

Since a jury convicted the 10 who stood trial on two misdemeanor counts Sept. 23, Islamist groups and their allies have decried the case as an assault on the First Amendment sure to chill political speech. The students were charged criminally solely because they are Muslims, the argument goes, and because they dared challenge an Israeli official.

Rackauckas’ response? Bunk. In a column published by the Orange County Register, he said the case stands in defense of free speech, no matter how hard critics spin.

“History tells us of the dire consequences when one group is allowed to shout down and intimidate another or a group of people so as to not allow them to have opinions or be heard. History requires us to draw a line in the sand against this sort of organized thuggery.” Continue reading

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Emails shown to Jury allegedly detailing advance plans to disrupt Israeli Ambassador Orens speech.

Irvine 11 – Jurors See Emails Plotting Disruptions

by IPT News  •  Sep 13, 2011 at 10:13 am

SANTA ANA – Emails detailing plans by Muslim Student Union (MSU)members to interrupt a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren last year were entered into evidence Monday in the misdemeanor trial of 10 University of California, Irvine students.

The emails outline how the group actively developed a plan to silence the Israeli ambassador, while dishonestly maintaining that the organization had no involvement. “We will be staying for the majority of the program and disrupting it throughout the whole time,” one email said.

Witness Rhoda Harris, a Holocaust survivor, described a scene of chaos as the students interrupted the speech multiple times. Oren could not be heard over the cheering that followed each disruption, she claimed, shutting down the event an hour before scheduled. Continue reading

Orange County Rabbi Expresses His Concerns About “Jewishly Hostile Campus Environment” at UCI

What Is Going On at UCI?

By Dov Fischer  February 28th, 2011

Cross Currents

I live in Irvine and have been a congregational rabbi and community activist here for more than five years. Because I grew up on the East Coast, have traveled all across America, and also have practiced as a high-stakes litigation attorney for a decade as well, I approach the subject informed when describing the environment at UCI as one of the most Jewishly hostile campus environments in America. I do not endorse, and I even oppose, a national Jewish student boycott of UCI. Yet I personally know Jewish undergraduates whom I could not convince to apply here because of the Jew-hatred. It will take a mix of a stronger Jewish student presence, an overhauled approach to campus Jewish leadership, and a more sensitized campus administration to turn the tide. Continue reading

ZOA Criticises UCI Faculty Members

ZOA Criticizes Some UCI Faculty For Bias, Hypocrisy, Falsehoods In Urging DA Dismiss Charges Against Anti-Israel Muslim Students For Free Speech Violations

February 15, 2011

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized the 100 faculty members at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) for signing a letter to Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, urging him to drop the criminal charges against the 11 students who violated two California statutes by planning and then repeatedly disrupting a speech on the UCI campus by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren on February 8, 2010.  These students tried to deprive Ambassador Oren of his free speech rights, shouting him down with screams that he is a “mass murderer” and a “war criminal committing genocide.”  The screaming was so unrelenting that the Ambassador had to stop speaking twice and canceled the planned question-and-answer period.  The faculty members’ letter was sent in response to the District Attorney’s announcement on February 4, 2011, that 11 defendants – eight students from UCI and three students from UC Riverside – were charged with one count of conspiracy to disturb a meeting and one misdemeanor count of the disturbance of a meeting.  In a statement issued about the charges, District Attorney Rackauckas said, “This case is being filed because there was an organized attempt to squelch the speaker, who was invited to speak to a group at UCI.  These defendants meant to stop this speech and stop anyone else from hearing his ideas, and they did so by disrupting a lawful meeting.  This is a clear violation of the law and failing to bring charges against this conduct would amount to a failure to uphold the Constitution.” Continue reading

UCI Faculty Members Weigh In With DA On So Called “Irvine 11″

Note: the faculty letter can be read here

Irvine faculty members seek dropping of student charges

February 10, 2011

(JTA) — Dozens of faculty members at the University of California, Irvine, have asked that criminal charges be dropped against 11 Muslim students who disrupted a speech by Israel’s U.S. ambassador.

Five deans are among the 100 faculty members who signed a letter asking the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to drop the charges filed last week against the nine Irvine students and two students from the University of California, Riverside. Arraignment is set for March 11 in Santa Ana, Calif. Continue reading

UCI “upholds” MSU one year suspension by lessening it to one quarter

(Is the UCI administration invoking the rarely  used “double-secret probation”?)

CA university upholds suspension of Muslim group

IRVINE, Calif. — The University of California, Irvine has upheld its decision to suspend a campus Muslim group after some of its members disrupted a speech by the Israeli ambassador at a campus event.

However, the university said Friday it would lift the suspension of the Muslim Student Union on Dec. 31 instead of enforcing it for a full year. Continue reading

UC Irvine: What’s up?

(The  Orange County Independent Task force on anti-Semitism received a copy, this morning,  of the following letter from the organization,  Act! for America:)

Chancellor Michael Drake

University of California, Irvine

Dear Chancellor Drake,

On behalf of ACT! for America, a nationwide issues advocacy organization with over 130,000 members and 425 local chapters, I urge the University of California at Irvine (UCI) to implement its own disciplinary recommendations against the Muslim Student Union (MSU).  It is my understanding you were present the evening the MSU carried out repeated disruptions of the Israeli Ambassador’s address.   Several hundred more witnessed the obviously orchestrated interruptions and tens of thousands more saw it later on the Internet.  The Muslim students continued to chant “Down with Israel” just outside the building after they all left the lecture hall together in another obviously planned disruption.   The MSU and their defenders continue to assert this was all spontaneous. Continue reading