It’s Back: This Years Edition of the Annual Hypocritical Rant Against Israel at U C Irvine

From the MSU Facebook page:

MSU-UCI Presents: Anti-Zionist Week 2014

The Muslim Student Union presents a week long series of events during Week 5 (April 28th-May 1st) that are aimed at raising awareness and creating discourse, around the issue of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, for the campus and community.

The events will highlight the history, significance, modern impacts, and much more information surrounding the injustices of the conflict through informative discussions, creative expressions, and interactive displays.

Topics include the following:

Monday: Borders and Racism
Tuesday: BDS
Wednesday: Sexual Violence
Thursday: Environmental Degradation

More details will be posted shortly. See you there! Do share and spread the word, and bring your friends.


In Syria, entire cities have been reduced to rubble, women and children have been  murdered with chemical weapons and millions displaced in refugee camps.  In Saudi Arabia,  Jews are forbidden and conversion to Christianity can carry a death sentence. In Egypt, Christians are persecuted and ancient churches have been reduced to rubble. Where is the outcry over the degradation of women and so called “honor killings” in many countries? Just look at the human rights records of most Middle Eastern countries. Many of these countries are ancestral homelands of the people involved in this obnoxious and hypocritical BDS farce.  

CBS News Investigation Alleges UC Irvine Employee Posted Anti-Semitic and Racist Pictures on Social Media

CBS2 Investigation: College Security Guard Leaves Trail Of Racism

David Goldstein Reporting

WARNING: Some of the images in this video may be offensive to some readers.] Click HERE to see video

IRVINE ( ) — A 31-year-old man who patrols two Orange County college campuses posted pro-Nazi and anti-black sentiments on the Internet, according to CBS2 investigative reporter David Goldstein. Continue reading

Courageous University of California Student Speaks About Continuing Campus Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism at Cal

By  Special to the Daily Cal

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

When a recent report from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, dismissed claims that the university had failed to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitism on campus, many thought that it could create a watershed moment for Berkeley.  Leading the fray was The Daily Californian, which made the almost Panglossian prediction that the report “could mark a new era for the campus community.”

Though I wish that the Daily Cal’s conclusion was correct, the fact is that the OCR’s conclusions are limited only to the legal matter of the university’s liability with regards to the civil rights of minority students. Although the OCR acknowledged the occurrence of hostile acts directed against Jews, they concluded that because there is no law compelling the university to prevent students from being personally offended or hurt, the university made no legal infractions. Indeed, for the OCR to have taken action, they would need evidence that the university had failed to stop direct coordinated actions against Jews.  Given that the issues faced by Jewish students come from a widespread general bias across the entire student body and not from a single organization, the OCR would never find Berkeley to be legally liable, no matter the degree of hostility faced by Jewish students.

However, as any Cal student or alum could likely confirm, Berkeley has chosen to commit itself to principles beyond the law. The university’s well-known dedication to protecting student rights and concern with matters of justice is at the very core of our identity.  These values, even if not made explicit in federal law, explicitly bar the actions that led to the legal complaint filed with the OCR. The report may legally exonerate Cal, but it does not excuse the university, faculty and students from the grave moral failing of our community in dealing with the baseless hatred in our midst.

It is an incontrovertible fact that over the past several years, Jewish students at Berkeley have had to deal with numerous hate incidents, including verbal, written and physical assaults.  Jewish students have been called horrendous, unprintable things. They have been shoved and pushed. In campus housing, the past several years have seen repeated occurrences of swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti. Continue reading

The Struggle To Hold Up The Hatred


The 2013 Edition Of the MSU “Apartheid Wall” On The UCI Campus.

Continue reading

The University of Manitoba Student Union (UMSU) bans anti-Israel “Israel Apartheid Week” and strips anti-Israel group of official status.

Canadian university student union strips anti-Israel group of official status
Posted on April 15, 2013  by

( The University of Manitoba Student Union (UMSU) in Canada has become the first student group in North America to ban the anti-Israel “Israel Apartheid Week” and strip the anti-Israel “Students Against Israel Apartheid (SAIA)” group of official status.

The motion, which passed 19-15, bars SAIA from receiving student funding or using student activity space on campus, the Winnipeg Jewish Review reported.

Pro-Israel students argued that the anti-Israel student efforts violate university policy which protects the “dignity and self-esteem” of its students and prevents them from “discrimination or harassment.”

“According to the UMSU policy, I didn’t have to prove that IAW has actually incited hatred, but that it is likely to undermine the dignity or self- esteem of students on campus who are Zionists,” pro-Israel UM student activist Josh Morry told the Winnipeg Jewish Review.

The move at the University of Manitoba comes amid recent battles on North American college campuses between pro-Israel and anti-Israel students.

Last week, the student government at the University of California (UC), Santa Barbara rejected a resolution to divest from Israel, joining several other California schools—UC Riverside, UC Berkeley and Stanford University—who have rejected Israel divestment resolutions. But the student union at Toronto’s York University, Canada’s largest, recently endorsed an Israel divestment resolution.

University of California Campus Student Governments Endorse BDS Cancer on Three Campuses.

March 20, 2013

Three UC student governments endorse BDS

By Jonah Lowenfeld los_angeles/article/three_uc_student_governments_endorse_bds/

In the first two weeks of March, student governments at two University of California campuses — UC Riverside and UC San Diego (UCSD) — voted to approve resolutions urging their campus administrations and the University of California as a whole to divest from companies doing business in the West Bank.The resolutions, both of which passed by significant margins, came just a few months after the student government at UC Irvine voted unanimously to approve a similar measure. And, according to pro-Israel activists, divestment measures are in the works at two other public universities in Southern California.

The approved resolutions urge the University of California, and the administrations of each of the individual campuses, to divest from companies with business interests that either assist in or profit from Israel’s presence in the West Bank. The measures are unlikely to force the individual campuses or the UC to take any action because of a UC policy limiting such action, but their passage has nonetheless proved disconcerting for pro-Israel students on those campuses.

“As a result of this bill, Jews, Israelis and their friends have been alienated from the rest of the student population,” Jacqueline Zelener, co-president of Highlanders for Israel, the pro-Israel student group at UC Riverside, wrote in an e-mail.

The BDS movement — the initials stand for advocacy of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel — has become well known in recent years, and resolutions urging divestment from companies doing business with Israel have come before student governments at California universities before.

In 2010, UC Berkeley’s student government approved a resolution urging divestment from two companies that supply Israel with war materials, however the UC Berkeley student body president later vetoed the resolution. Earlier this month, Stanford University’s undergraduate student government voted against a divestment bill that targeted companies doing business with Israel.

Unlike at Stanford, where debate over the divestment bill lasted for multiple weeks before a vote was taken, pro-Israel students at UC Riverside only learned about the proposed resolution on their campus the night before the Associated Students of UC Riverside (ASUCR) voted on it.

They [the resolution’s backers] kept it very secret from anyone who might have even been the slightest bit neutral or in the opposition,” said Danny Leserman, a business economics major at UC Riverside, who serves as president of Hillel and co-president of Highlanders for Israel.  Continue reading

Tonight: Students for “Justice” in Palestine (SJP) at UC Irvine hosting Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) Farce


Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction = Double Standard, Demonization and Delegitimization*

Remember the Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating education for young girls? video here.  In November 2012 a 14-year-old Afghan girl was beheaded by two men  for refusing one of the mens marriage-proposal.  According to Amnesty international, This was the 15th deadly attack on a female victim in 2012.

Continue reading

Where have you been the past 10 years?

On February 12, 2008, the Orange County Independent Task Force completed a year-long investigation at the University of California, Irvine ( UCI). Over 80 hours of interviews, as well as, documents, written complaints and numerous visits to the campus were used in the compilation of the subsequent Findings and Recommendations. Among the reports findings were that ” acts of anti-Semitism are real and well documented. Jewish students have been harassed. Hate speech has been unrelenting

Though the report was widely distributed and copies sent to the highest echelons of the University of California, it was roundly ignored. In our view,  University Of California officials, including UC President Mark Yudof, have failed to adequately address anti-semitic hate speech and harassment on it’s campuses. Now, 4 1/2 years after the release of the Findings and Recommendations  and at least 10 years since the beginning of the problems, we read the following editorial.  What took so long?–  OCITF

Protests must not stray into anti-Semitism

Richard D. Barton* Published 6:35 p.m., * Thursday, August 23, 2012 *San Fransisco Chronicle

Read more:

F or the past decade, a movement of protest against Israel, its policies and Zionism has occupied a central place on University of California and other college and university campuses. The nature of the messages embodied in that movement has drawn tremendous attention and study.

Israel “Apartheid” weeks, mock checkpoints in which students carry fake automatic weapons and portray Israeli soldiers indiscriminately targeting Palestinians, cartoons and other depictions of Israelis as Nazis, and speakers which routinely accuse Israel of genocide, ethnic cleansing and other crimes are the hallmarks of the protests.

In many instances, traditional anti-Semitic themes of Jewish control of the media and U.S. government are advanced as explanations for U.S. support of Israel and the plight of the Palestinians. Continue reading

“Politically Correct Anti-Semitism”. Harassment continues at the University Of California

Note: On February 12, 2008, the Orange County Independent Task Force completed a year-long investigation at the University of California, Irvine ( UCI). Over 80 hours of interviews, as well as, documents, written complaints and numerous visits to the campus were used in the compilation of the subsequent Report and Recommendations.  Among the reports findings were that  ” acts of anti-Semitism are real and well documented. Jewish students have been harassed. Hate speech has been unrelenting. For the most part, Jewish organizations in Orange County have been ineffective in dealing with anti-Semitism at UCI.  Therefore, Students with a strong Jewish identity should consider enrolling elsewhere unless and until tangible changes are made.”

 The University administration  rightfully argued that it cannot and will not stifle free speech on campus. However, University leaders have a First Amendment right and a responsibility to identify and denounce hate speakers and hate speech and as it occurs.  In our view University Of California officials, including UC President Mark Yudof, have failed to adequately address anti-semitic hate speech and harassment on it’s campuses. The complete 34 page report can be found at:


The Following is an article from the San Fransisco Chronicle:

UC report on anti-Semitism draws ire

Nanette Asimov   Updated 10:56 a.m., Thursday, August 9, 2012

Katherine Orr had just started her freshman year at UC Berkeley last August when she was stunned to see five students in military fatigues carrying what looked like rifles and stopping students at Sather Gate.

“They were asking people, ‘Are you Jewish?’ They were trying to be like soldiers interrogating Palestinians along the border,” Orr said. “They were re-enacting what was happening on the West Bank.”

To students who regard Israel as an essential Jewish homeland, this event and others like it that are staged each year on University of California campuses seem hostile, like poorly concealed anti-Semitism – especially when the Israeli flag with its Star of David is paired with a Nazi swastika, says a new report by a UC fact-finding team seeking to understand Jewish students’ experiences.

But to students who oppose Israeli policies and support such sensational protest methods, some recommendations by the team – that UC adopt a definition of anti-Semitism, prohibit hate speech and consider banning campus sponsorship of offensive activities – have become a new subject for protest. Continue reading

“Hateful and offensive” display at UC Irvine Student Center?

Note: The following anonymous opinion was posted on the myUCIrvine web page.  In recent years, Jewish students who have spoken out about their experiences at UCI, have complained about being ridiculed and ostracised.  For this reason a number of students have left the campus or graduated early.  To view the photographs click the link below.

A Main Street UCI Photo Project supported by Vice Chancellor Thomas Parham at the Student Center

Scandal at UCI: Faculty fuels conflict as students look for peace 

“Pictures of blood stained flags and a memorial to hate speech has recently been put up in the Student Center… by a professor.”

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:12pm By Opinion  myUCIrvine

If there is anything UC Irvine utterly despises, it must be freedom, equality, and democracy. I say this in full confidence because the only country that the administration at UCI allows to be slandered, libeled, and publicly desecrated is anything pertaining to Israel or the Jewish people.

UC Irvine prides itself on being a campus where all views and opinions can be heard, shared, as well as respected. I am sorry to say that this just isn’t the case. Take the Cross Culture Center (CCC), what should be the hub of diversity on campus, as an example. The CCC  “is dedicated to creating and maintaining a socially just campus, fostering the cultural identities within our community, and providing opportunities for intellectual exchange, leadership development, and community engagement” but clearly, they do not accomplish that. A demonstration of everything wrong with the CCC is the mural in the center proudly depicting the infamous El- Hajj Malik El- Shabazz. For those of you who are not familiar with Shabazz, he was a preacher of anti-Semitism, black supremacy and encouraged violence amongst his supporters.  Before his days as a member of the Nation of Islam, Shabazz told the US Draft Board that he, as well as his black supremacist supporters, wanted to “steal us some guns, and kill us [some] crackers.” This is a wonderful example of what the Cross Culture Center stands for because the university not only allows, but rewards this type of behavior.

The most hateful, disgusting, and narrow minded display of intolerance on campus every year is the Muslim Student Union and Students for Justice in Palestine’s week aimed at showing their baseless and unjustified hatred of the Jewish people. Every year for one week, UCI students are bothered with a public display of abhorrence towards one national ethnicity, the Jews. This is not surprising since the MSU has connections to the terrorist group Hamas, the group responsible for launching over 8000 rockets into Israel and kidnapping Israeli soldiers as well as the Muslim Brotherhood. This disgusting act has not only never been condemned, it occurs every year, much to the students in SJP’s pleasure. To make things even worse, in the Student Center, a place where students go to study throughout the day, there is a wall of pictures honoring these detestable acts and the bigoted speakers SJP brings to campus. Continue reading

More bad news about the Olive Tree Initiative?

Note: On December 28, 2010 The Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism,  formally asked  the Orange County Jewish Federation, Hillel and the Rose Project. to adopt the Jewish Community of San Francisco’s guidelines for funding. Among other things, the guidelines prohibit funding for any activities that “advocate for, or endorse, undermining the legitimacy of Israel as a secure independent, democratic Jewish state, including through participation in the [BDS] movement, in whole or in part.” On March 21, 2010, we published the Pledge in memory of the Fogal Family.  To date those entities, The OC Jewish Federation, Hillel and the Rose Project have not bothered to respond.

Bringing the War on Jerusalem to American Universities

By Frank Crimi On April 2, 2012 @ 12:01 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage

The Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), the self-described “non-partisan college educational program” operating out of numerous universities, has, since its founding in 2007, received the support of a bevy of rabidly anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish individuals and groups, many with connections to terrorist organizations and their apologists, including Hamas.

One such notable OTI supporter is Palestinian political leader Mustafa Barghouti, head of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI), a Palestinian political party founded in 2002 as a purported “democratic third force” between the “corruption” of the Palestinian political umbrella group Fatah and the “extremism” of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Barghouti has not only served as a lecturer for the OTI for many years, but in 2009 his organization, the PNI, was thanked for being an “Institiutional Supporter” of the program. An overview of Barghouti’s background validates why critics of the OTI believe the organization’s purpose is to manufacture anti-Israel advocates, all the while masquerading as a group dedicated to promoting “understanding” between Israelis and Palestinians.

Barghouti’s antipathy for Israelis may run in his family, given that his cousin, Marwan Barghouti, led the First and Second Intifadas and is currently serving five life sentences for murder in Israel. While Barghouti has publicly portrayed himself as a promoter of non-violence and an advocate of a two-state solution, he has also shown a disdain for the political process, having once proclaimed that “there’s no use in meetings with Israelis and there is no peace partner in Israel.”

Nevertheless, the reality is that Barghouti has played a leading role in the Fatah-Hamas coalition, a role which includes sidling up to the genocidal terrorists of Hamas and portraying Israel as bastion of apartheid and a perpetrator of crimes against humanity.

For example, Barghouti, who is a leader in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, the economic warfare campaign against Israel, often uses “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” rhetoric in describing Israel.

Barghouti’s most recent effort to delegitimize Israel was as a prime organizer of the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) on March 30, an event also supported by Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and the theocratic totalitarians of Iran.

According to event organizers, the GMJ was a protest march in which Arab and foreign activists were to descend upon Jerusalem in an attempt to “confirm that the policies and practices of the racist Zionist state of Israel against Jerusalem and its people are a crime not only against Palestinians but against all humanity.” Continue reading

Yudof awakens; Speaks out against disruptions and recent anti-Israel hatred at UC Davis and Riverside campuses


It is said that “its better late than never”. The Orange County Independent Task Force on anti-Semitism was copied, this afternoon with a letter from UC President Mark Yudof.  The  accompanying email  stated: “I thought you might be interested in the attached Open Letter to the UC Community.”

In the letter Yudof denounced the repeated disruption of a presentation by Israeli soldiers at UC Davis during which one of the hecklers accused the speakers af being a rapist and a murderer.  At UC Riverside, vandals defaced an Israeli flag displayed by Hillel with the word terrorist scrawled across it.  We applaud President Yudof for finally gathering the courage to speak out against what has been years of harrassment and intimidation of Jewish students on UC campuses. To read the letter, click this link:

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

More evidence of the potential dangers of sending students on Olive Tree Initiative Trips

Israel security forces foil multiple terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, arrest dozens of Hamas militants

By Anshel Pfeffer Haaretz

Shin Bet security service intercepts explosive after it was smuggled to Jerusalem, it emerges Wednesday; dozens of Hamas militants operating in 13 separate cells arrested by security forces.

The Israeli Shin Bet security service foiled a suicide terrorist attack last month in Jerusalem, it emerged Wednesday. An explosive belt was seized only 24 hours before the planned attack, after it was already smuggled into Jerusalem.

The interception of the planned attack was part of a large-scale operation by the Shin Bet, the IDF and the police against the Hamas military infrastructure in the West Bank and Jerusalem. During the operation, dozens of Hamas militants – operating in alleged 13 separate cells – were arrested.

The main cell charged with carrying out the attack was based in Hebron. Continue reading

Olive Tree Initiatives “nefarious”connections?

The ‘Flytilla’: Brought to You by Friends of the Olive Tree Initiative   

Posted by  Nichole Hungerford on Jul 11th, 2011

Evidence continues to mount over the nefarious nature of the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), a controversial student program that originated at the University of California, Irvine and is rapidly spreading to other campuses. Radical anti-Israel activists with long-standing involvement in the program have been identified as lead organizers of what has been dubbed the “flytilla,” a recent stunt aimed at putting the Israel delegitimization campaign back in the headlines. Sending young college students to meet with such Israel-hating extremists — including a leader of the terrorist organization Hamas — is what the OTI’s powerful patrons consider “holistic” education. Continue reading

Rutgers Hillel fights campus Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism; Gets community involved.

The event caught the attention of Jewish leaders from surrounding communities, and almost 400 people showed up to protest

Rutgers Hillel celebrates successes in combating anti-Israelism on campus

Jacob Binstein, New Jersey Jewish Standard
June 3, 2011 (From IJCR)

It was a tough year for friends of Israel on the Rutgers campus.

But last Tuesday night, at the Rutgers Hillel Gala held in Livingston, student activists got a warm reminder that they don’t stand alone as community leaders from all corners of the state came out to support the 68-year-old campus organization. Continue reading

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,

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

Has The Jewish Federation of Orange County (JFOC) ” been dishonest in the disclosure of its funding of the Olive Tree Initiative?”

The Patrons of Anti-Israelism

Posted by  Nichole Hungerford on Jun 23rd, 2011

Frontpage Magazine

Last week, a troubling article appeared in The Jerusalem Post on the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), a shady student organization run primarily through the University of California, Irvine that is rapidly spreading. The subject of intense criticism, the OTI has been infiltrated by (among others) activists from the terrorism-supporting International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and has sent students to meet with a leader of Hamas. Even so, what appeared in the Post does little to hold the organization accountable — or its powerful supporters in the Jewish Federation of Orange County (JFOC).

The OTI has been covered extensively at FrontPage, most recently in an article detailing a 2009 student trip to Israel and the West Bank on which students met with one of the foremost leaders of Hamas, Aziz Duwaik (trips to Israel to meet with “dialogue partners” are a central function of the program). The meeting occurred just months after Duwaik’s release from Israeli custody. Afterward, students were told to coverup the meeting and to essentially deceive officials in order to avoid trouble crossing borders and leaving the country. A spokeswoman from UC Irvine told FrontPage that there was no investigation into the incident that she knew of, nor has there been any evidence of an investigation subsequently. That is to say, neither the university nor the OTI’s funders have shown any interest in understanding the OTI’s dealings with Hamas, and in particular, how it is possible that the OTI arranged this meeting and what internal connections brought it about. (Duwaik, incidentally, was detained again in May by the Israeli Defense Force.)

The fact that there was no investigation is most puzzling, as JFOC sent a letter to Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake ostensibly insisting that an investigation be preformed. Yet with no investigation conducted, the federation continues its support. Continue reading

Once again, OC Federation asked to endorse pledge to deny funds to those who support BDS and those who seek to destroy Israel


On December 28, 2010 The Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism,  formally asked  the Orange County Jewish Federation, Hillel and the Rose Project. to adopt the Jewish Community of San Francisco’s guidelines for funding. Among other things, the guidelines prohibit funding for any activities that “advocate for, or endorse, undermining the legitimacy of Israel as a secure independent, democratic Jewish state, including through participation in the [BDS] movement, in whole or in part.” On March 21, 2010, we published the Pledge in memory of the Fogal Family.  To date those entities, The OC Jewish Federation, Hillel and the Rose Project have not bothered to respond. The following  letter is endorsed by the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism: Continue reading

UC Irvine OTI Student: “I think it would be impossible to claim we can understand the area without considering Hamas.”; CAIR weighs in on the OTI

Following this line of thinking, one must wonder if  OTI employs this sort of naive logic with  the Ku Klux Klan or other dangerous white supremacist groups?   Hamas is  virulently anti-Semitic and dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel. Meanwhile, despite OTI’s “efforts”,  nothing has changed on campus.  Also noteworthy,  according to this article:  ” Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), believes the students are pioneering an important educational project by engaging with the region hands-on.”   

Olive Tree Initiative aims to hear both sides in Middle East conflict

Group of UCI students takes trips to Middle East to talk to officials, activists in both Israeli and Palestinian territories.

April 23, 2011|By Joanna Clay,


At multicultural UC Irvine, the Middle East and U.S. policy in that region can create fervent debate.

While tensions sometimes escalate on campus — as they have with the Irvine 11 case against student protesters — in 2007 a group of students decided to respond to Middle East tensions in a way that wasn’t polemical or political.

Instead of debating the different sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict from the confines of the UCI campus, they would travel to the region — meeting with officials, academics, religious leaders and activists — and come back to the community with the results of their conversations.

They called their organization the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI).

Since its inception, the group has organized three university trips and two community trips. Fifteen to 20 UCI students go on the two-week trip, splitting their time equally between Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“I think OTI is a really great example of an innovative campus program that has developed a really constructive way of addressing campus tension,” said Megan Braun, a UCI graduate who went on the 2010 trip.

Other UC campuses, such as UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz and UCLA, have taken a cue from OTI’s accomplishments by starting chapters of their own.

OTI recently came under fire for meeting Aziz Duwaik during a 2009 trip to the region. The student group had intended to meet with a member of the Palestinian Authority, but that official didn’t make it to the meeting. Duwaik, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, filled in for the official. And unbeknownst to the OTI delegation, Duwaik was also a Hamas representative in the West Bank. Continue reading

In an Apparent Contradiction, Is UC Irvine Now Calling OTI Meeting with Hamas leader a “Misstep”?

As reported earlier, in an article in the OC Register, UC Irvine official Cathy Lawhon was quoted as saying ” meeting with people of many different points of view is consistent with (Olive Tree’s) mission.” “Their stated mission is to hear varying points of view, and to take people of varying points of view over there,” Lawhon said. “It’s not a homogenous  group at all.” Lawhon went on to say  “more trips to the Mideast have taken place since 2009, but that she is unaware if additional meetings with Duwaik or other Hamas officials were held.”

This statement was apparently ignored and contradicted in a different  UC Irvine official  response letter  to The Zionist Organization of America .  According to that officials letter : ” The meetings should not have happened. This was discussed specifically and at length with the Olive Tree Initiative leadership and board after their return to the United States in the fall of 2009 in an effort to avoid similar missteps in the future.”  Missteps? Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. State department and it’s charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews.

Here is  the ZOA’s  response

Parents: Are the Olive Tree Initiative Trips Safe For Your Student ?

(Courtesy of Rabbi Fischer)

Palestinians arrest suspect in murder of Israeli actor Juliano Mer-Khamis

By Avi Issacharoff Haaretz

PA police arrested and are interrogating former al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades militant who was released from Israeli prison more than five years ago, and is now a suspect in murder of Mer-Khamis.

Palestinian security forces arrested on Tuesday a suspect in the killing of Israeli actor Juliano Mer-Khamis in Jenin on Monday.

According to a security official, Palestinian police have been probing the man – a former al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades militant who was released from Israeli prison more than five years ago – but he has yet to confess to the murder. Continue reading

ZOA: OC Federation “Should Disassociate From Olive Tree Initiative; Take The Necessary Steps To Restore The Community’s Faith In Its Words And Action”

ZOA Urges UC Irvine To Terminate Olive Tree Initiative, And Federation To Stop Funding It, After Students Secretly Meet With Hamas Leader

Courtesy of the Zionist Organization of America ( ZOA)

In letters sent on April 1, 2011, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) called on the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to terminate a university program called the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI) – set up to build understanding and dialogue about the Arab-Israeli conflict – and called on the Jewish Federation of Orange County (the “Federation”) to stop funding and supporting the program, after it was revealed that students who participated in an OTI trip to Israel, including Judea and Samaria, met with a top leader of Hamas and then were instructed to keep the meeting a secret.  The revelation about the secret meeting was made in a letter dated October 8, 2009, from leaders of the Federation – Jeffrey H. Margolis, Co-Chair, Rose Project; Dr. James Weiss, Co-Chair, Rose Project; and Shalom C. Elcott,  President & CEO of the Federation – to UCI Chancellor Michael Drake. Continue reading

ZOA letters to OC Jewish Federation, UCI Chancellor Drake Express Outrage Over UCI Students Meeting with Hamas Leader

Letters to UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake and Jewish Federation Federation and Family Services leaders have been forwarded to the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism from the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). We join with the ZOA in expressing outrage over the 2009 alleged secret meeting of Olive Tree students with a known Hamas leader Aziz Duwaik and reiterate our call for the Jewish Federation and Family services to cease any and all connection with the Olive Tree Initiative. Hamas  has been designated by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization . We once again call upon the Federation leaders to adopt The Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties Funding Guidelines.

Is UC Irvine OK With Olive Tree Initiative Students Meeting with Hamas?


In an article in today’s OC Register, UC Irvine official Cathy Lahawn was quoted as saying ” meeting with people of many different points of view is consistent with (Olive Tree’s) mission.” “Their stated mission is to hear varying points of view, and to take people of varying points of view over there,” Lawhon said. “It’s not a homogenous group at all.”  By contrast in a statement appearing in todays Issue of  JTA “Jewish Federation Official”  Jay Feldman is quoted as saying ” The federation demanded that the university investigate the incident. The university did, and later acknowledged that the meeting was inappropriate and unapproved ”  “The individual who led the trip was reprimanded, and the university pledged that the incident would not repeat itself — and it hasn’t.”  According to the Register article “Lawhon said more trips to the Mideast have taken place since 2009, but that she is unaware if additional meetings with Duwaik or other Hamas officials were held.” Continue reading

Office For Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (OCR) Opens Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964 Investigation at the University of California Santa Cruz


In a letter dated March 7, 2011,  responding to a complaint filed  by Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (OCR) has agreed to open a Title VI investigation at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC). The letter stated, “We have determined that the issue is appropriate for investigation under the laws enforced by OCR.”   The letter also stated that OCR has identified the following issue for investigation:

The recipient (UCSC)  “failed to take steps in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to respond to notice of a then existing hostile environment for Jewish Students based on their actual or perceived ancestry or ethnic characteristics.”

Ms.  Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer in Hebrew at the University of California, Santa Cruz  (UCSC),  lodged  a 29-page extensively documented Title VI Complaint with the OCR  in June,  2009.  The complaint alleges, among other things,  that anti-Israel discourse and behavior in classrooms and that departmentally and university-sponsored events had created an “emotionally and intellectually hostile environment for Jewish students and had adversely affected their educational experience” at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC).  The complaint further alleges that: 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

Those Who Defend Israel on Campus “Should Not Feel Safe”

The following email was forwarded to the OC Task Force. It was not forwarded to us by its author.

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2011 8:00 AM
Subject: Why Israel should be recognized as a Jewish state – Quid Pro Peace
Pretty interesting insight from one of the Jewish kids who went on OTI.

I hope Fousesqauwk or the Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism decides to cross-post it.

Note: An important  question is why the author of this email or his colleagues, the leadership of the  Orange County Jewish communal organizations,  did not attend this exhibition first hand?  According to the Anti Defamation League, the Jewish Voice for Peace is classified as one of the top 10 anti-Israel groups in the United States.  Sadly,  community leaders were conspicuously absent at other  recent anti-Israel exhibitions at UCI, including  Ben White and  Jeff Halper.   The OCITF will continue to attend  and  inform the broader community as these events unfold, however, as always,  it is crucial for individual members of the community to peacefully attend these events and draw their own conclusions.

When the Jewish student asked  for a show of hands regarding his question “did Israel have the right to exist? ,  predictably,  none of  the three members of the so-called “Jewish Voice for peace” raised their hands.   His question was valuable because  it exposed these speakers as, de facto, having  no interest in the continuation of the State of Israel.   However,  the existence of the State of Israel is a reality and should not be open to question or debate.  No other nation on earth, whether righteous or evil,  is subject to this  question.    These Jewish Voice for Peace  “activists” at least one of  whom claimed to have disrupted  Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech in November 2010, proudly proclaimed that those who defended Israel did not deserve the right to free speech;  And that those who defended Israel on campuses like UCI should “not feel safe”and should  simply “deal with it”.

KPPC Reports: Grand Jury Looking Into Oren Disruption

(Video courtesy OC Register)

OC grand jury investigates protest at UC Irvine of Israeli diplomat’s speech

KPCC has learned that the Orange County grand jury is investigating the Feb. 2010 disruption of an Israeli diplomat’s speech at UC Irvine.

Members of UCI’s Muslim Student Union have been called to testify before the grand jury about the organization’s role in the disruption of a speech by Michael Oren, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S.

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Irvine’s law school, says he does not believe the students who disrupted Oren’s speech should face the risk of criminal charges.

The Orange County District Attorney’s office says the law prevents it from confirming or denying any activities related to the grand jury.

More On the Olive Tree Initiative

EXCERPT: “A reasonable enough resolution has been raised by the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism, which has formally asked  the Orange County Jewish Federation to adopt the Jewish Community of San Francisco’s guidelines for funding. Among other things, the guidelines prohibit funding for any activities that “advocate for, or endorse, undermining the legitimacy of Israel as a secure independent, democratic Jewish state, including through participation in the [BDS] movement, in whole or in part.” Whether such a measure or other reconciliatory actions will be undertaken by the federation is sadly unclear. The need for such action, however, is not.”

Dialogue and Deceit

by Nichole Hungerford Front Page Magazine –Jan 25, 2010

The psychological war against Israel is silently securing a foothold in the U.S. before our very eyes.  The latest example is a controversial student program known as the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), which has bamboozled many peace-minded individuals, even those in the usually vigilant Jewish community. Continue reading

UCLA Students Letter Expresses Deep Concern about the Olive Tree Initiative

The OCITF is posting  the attached letter with the permission of the author:
 Dear Mr. Shalom Elcott,
  I have recently been made aware of the OTI. As a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, I am concerned about the OTI and its goals. Below is a letter expressing my concerns (I have also attached it to this email). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Naya Lekht
To Shalom Elcott, President and CEO of the
Orange County Jewish Federation:
            My name is Naya Lekht. I am a PhD candidate in the department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Los Angeles. Recently, I have been made aware of the OTI (The Olive Tree Initiative) of UC Irvine. I am extremely concerned about this program, as I strongly believe that it is doing much harm to both Jewish students on campus and the image of Israel in the public arena.
            I am particularly troubled by several tenets and goals of the OTI. First and foremost, in times when Israel is demonized and unjustly singled out for perennial rebuke in the world, it is morally wrong to bring speakers who further implicate and vilify Israel. Part of the OTI goals is to better acquaint students with various ideas and narratives about the conflict in the Middle East. By drawing an equal sign between those voices who support Israel and those who wish to destroy Israel the OTI is, in effect, legitimizing a narrative that argues for the extermination of the State of Israel. Continue reading



The following editorial appearing  in UC Irvines New University on December 1, 2010, makes an astonishing claim:   “It must be made clear that the vast majority of the Jewish community in Orange County, including the Jewish Federation of Orange County and the Rose Project, support OTI and its mission on campus.

While it seems to be indisputable that the Jewish Federation of Orange County and the Rose Project support the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI),  we wonder what research did the editors of the New University conduct to support the rather bold notion that they might presume to know what the vast majority of the Jewish community supports or doesn’t support.  What is not unreasonable to assume,  is that the vast majority of Jewish community members are not aware of the exposure on OTI trips of students to individuals who represent organizations dedicated to the isolation and destruction of the State of Israel.  One such individual was recently described by Federation CEO Shalom Elcott as a “despicable character”.–OCITF

Here is the Editiorial

The editorial staff of the New University would like to clarify information presented in Nesma Tawil’s article “Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself” on Nov. 30.

As with any article in the Opinion section, the views presented represent the sole opinion of the writer, not the editorial board, the New University or any other organization or person at UCI.

It has been interpreted that the article overemphasizes the perceived conflict or disagreement between the Olive Tree Initiative and the Jewish community in Orange County. However, the article tries to make the distinction that only “a small group of members of the Jewish community” felt this way. It must be made clear that the vast majority of the Jewish community in Orange County, including the Jewish Federation of Orange County and the Rose Project, support OTI and its mission on campus. Minor edits have been made to the article to reflect this support.

Continue reading

JTA Quotes Task Force Release on MSU Sanctions

Sanctions shortened for Muslim student group

September 8, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — A Muslim student group at the University of California, Irvine, had a yearlong suspension shortened to four months. Continue reading

LA Jewish Journal on MSU Suspension: Quotes Statement from OC Task Force

September 7, 2010

UCI upholds sanction on Muslim Student Union

Decision cuts group’s yearlong suspension to four months.

by Lisa Armony, Contributing Writer

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) has upheld its decision to sanction its Muslim Student Union (MSU), though it cut short the group’s yearlong suspension to four months. The group may not officially use university facilities during the fall 2010 quarter, recruit new members or raise funds, all part of the fallout for what school officials deemed the MSU’s violation of university codes of conduct related to the repeated disruption of a speech on campus in February by Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States. 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

Divestment and campus anti-Semitism

Excerpt: “…the resolution at Berkeley singled out Israel, while ignoring all human rights violations in counties like Iran, Russia, Sudan, China and Rwanda, all among the most egregious violators of human rights on the planet, some of them sites of mass slaughters. If singling out the Jewish state for special condemnation when its actions don’t even belong in the same category as those others is not anti-Semitism, it’s hard to see what is.”

UC campuses are hotbeds of anti-Semite vitriol

By thomas d. elias

San Jose Mercury News

Posted: 07/13/2010 11:00:00 PM PDT

Updated: 07/13/2010 11:26:29 PM PDT

You’d think tempers on University of California campuses last spring were hotter about the upcoming tuition increases than anything else. You’d be wrong. Continue reading

UC President Yudofs Letter

(Comments by Tammi Benjamin who co-authored the letter)
As you will see in his letter to us, Yudof goes to great lengths to minimize our concerns about the safety of Jewish students on UC campuses.  He also completely ignores our charge that there is an egregious anti-Jewish double standard among UC administrators and Regents, who, for example, have shown extreme sensitivity and responsiveness to the emotional distress that a Compton Cookout or noose might cause African American students,  but have virtually ignored the long-standing and intolerable harassment and intimidation of Jewish students through anti-Semitic graffiti, numerous speakers and events on many UC campuses that demonize Jews and support terrorism against Israel, divestment campaigns, etc.

Please feel free to write to one of the following in support of our Letter and the 12 courageous Jewish organizations that signed it:

UC President Mark Yudof:
LA Times: (Word limit 150)

To read U C President Yudofs response letter to 12 Jewish organizations including the O C Independent Task Force on anti-Semitism  click here

Letter to UC President Yudof signed by OC Task Force and 11 Organizations

Dear President Yudof,

Please see the attached Letter outlining our concerns about the safety of Jewish students on UC campuses, which is being respectfully submitted to you by ourselves and the following organizations:

American Freedom Alliance
CAMERA: Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors
The David Project
Israel Peace Initiative
Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism
Orthodox Union (OU)
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Stand With Us
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Zionist Organization of America Continue reading

KCRW-NPR Radio Interview and debate with UC Law Dean Chemerinsky and MSU attorney Reem Salahi

Which Way, L.A.?

At UC Irvine, Campus Rules and the First Amendment

“UC Irvine wants to ban a Muslim student group for orchestrating a plan to shout down the Israeli ambassador during a speech on the campus. Would a ban violate the students’ rights to free speech and association? What if they lied to university officials about their role in advance planning….?”

Christian Group weighs in on UC Irvine recommendation

Jun 16,2010, 9:52AM

It’s About Time: University of California at Irvine Defends Free Speech by Disciplining Hecklers

Author: ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Joe Martins

I don’t get surprised very often when I read the latest academic news. But today, I was. A university actually took a strong stand against the disruptive tactics of a student group bent on silencing campus speech. Continue reading

UCI MSU appeals suspension

UCI MSU Appeals Recommendation to Suspend MSU

June 14th, 2010

In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful



(Irvine, CA – 6/14/10) — The Muslim Student Union (MSU) at the University of California, Irvine, announced today that it has filed an appeal to the recommendation by the Senior Executive Director of Student Housing to revoke the student group’s charter for one year, following allegations that the MSU violated sections of University policy. Continue reading

Decision letter to suspend MSU

The decision letter alleges that interviewees asserted their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Click for the  UCI Galloway Investigation.

Continue reading

UPDATE: No Police at UC Irvine today at anti-Israel Rally. No response by university officials

The OCITF expressed concern to University officials that during today’s anti-Israel rally, there was no police present except for an officer stationed in front of the administration building.  The  police officer remarked  that “nothing will get done until somebody gets actually gets hurt”.   It is unconscionable,  given the level of  overheated emotions, rhetoric and near violence that has already taken place worldwide that UCI Officials did not deem it necessary to provide an adequate police presence in what could have been a potentially volatile situation on campus.

Continue reading

Update: Over 900 UCI students have thus far applied for refund of Student Fees for funding Hate speakers

The following procedure for obtaining refunds was initiated by a  U C Irvine Student:

* 1. UCI campus policy 83.20 reads: “Chancellors…shall establish procedures to allow a student to seek a refund of that portion of his or her fee which he or she believes continues to support political, ideological, or religious organizations or activities.” Continue reading

UCI spokeswoman: “the chancellor’s original message was sufficient.”

Groups denounce anti-Jewish speech at UC-Irvine

May 26, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — Two Jewish groups are demanding that the chancellor at the University of California, Irvine denounce an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic speaker hosted by a campus Muslim group.

The Zionist Organization of America and the Orange County, Calif., chapter of the Anti-Defamation League have asked Michael Drake to condemn the May 13 speech by Amir Abdel Malik Ali and revoke the charter of the Muslim Student Union that hosted him. Continue reading

“University administrators would do well to read the writing on their campuses’ bathroom walls”

The following commentary is from the Jewlicious blog:

The Toilet as a Sign of the Times in the University of California

Written by themiddle

Over the years, we have brought our readers numerous posts about the anti-Israel movement at UC Irvine, UC Berkeley and recently UC San Diego. These movements are typically led by those schools’ Muslim Student Association or branch. The students at these organizations are organized, well funded and appear to have a network that not only provides them with necessary materials and programs, but also has a circuit of professional anti-Israel speakers.  Here’s one: Continue reading

According to UC Irvine professor Mark LeVine, the UC San Diego woman “was obviously not thinking cogently or coherently…”?

With what expertise, does the  U C Irvine Professor of Middle East Studies qualify to render an opinion as to the mental state of the U C San Diego MSA member?

Note:  Along with the Department of History, Middle East Studies Student Initiative (MESSI), LeVine was involved  in bringing a member of the Cairo Based Muslim Brotherhood to UCI in October 2008.
See Also:
See Also:

Pennsylvania state senator introduced resolution condemning anti-Semitism on college campuses. Mentions U C Irvine and Columbia University

(Note:  SPME Board and PA Chapters Endorse and Urge Support for Pennsylvania Senate Resolution on Preventing Anti-Semitism on Campus)

Resolution Addresses Anti-Semitism on Campus

A  Pennsylvania state senator seeking to become the state’s next governor introduced a resolution last week condemning anti-Semitism on college campuses. Continue reading

ZOA Letter to UCI: “The University’s continuing failure and refusal to enforce its own rules…”

The attached letter, copied to the OCITF and dated April 9, 2010  to UCI’s Chief Campus Counsel Diane Fields Giocaris was received today.  To read the letter click  here

“It’s only an hour away,”

Pointing to UCLA, which recently inaugurated an Israeli studies program “to educate people about the Middle East in a fair and balanced way,” (UC Regent) Lansing urged Drake to visit the Los Angeles school and learn about the program.”

U. of Calif. addresses campus hate, but some draw line on Oren incident

By Sue Fishkoff · March 25, 2010

(JTA) The University of California announced a series of measures designed to prevent hate violence and racism on campus, but some speakers at a meeting devoted to the violence said the recent heckling of Israel’s ambassador at UC Irvine, which resulted in 11 arrests, was a display of free speech, not a hate crime. Read more »

OC Human Relations Commission: Disruption of Orens speech “organized and systematic”.

The O C Human Relations Commission letter of commendation cited  U C Irvine  Police Chief Paul Henisey for among other things: having  prevented “violence which was brewing just under the surface as tempers ignited over the organized and systematic disruption of the speech. “

March 12, 2010
Paul Henisey, Chief
UCI Police Department
Irvine, CA 92657
Dear Chief Henisey:

….At the March 11, 2010 meeting the Commission and Board of Directors voted to officially commend you and the administration of UCI for your handling of the recent disruption of the speech of the Israeli Ambassador by Muslim student protesters. Including your leadership and action to: Read The letter here:

OC Human Relations Commission letter to UCI Chief Henisey

Source: U C Irvine Chancellors Page

(Courtesy of  Gary Fouse)

“…disciplinary action is “pending”. Obviously it can “pend” until the 11 have graduated from U of C, have Phds and are well on their way…”

March 9th, 2010

“Stand with the Irvine 11!” blared the email in my inbox this morning. “OK,” I thought groggily, “but which one of the dozens of activists sending me email are you and why are you appropriating the jargon of Sixties activism?” Continue reading

ASUCI Resolution: 13 yes, 1 no, 1 abstain; “ASUCI opposes any academic repercussions…” No further action should be taken against 11 students


Click here R45-66

Continue reading

UCI’s “internal review” into alleged Hamas fundraising enters its sixth month

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.” Continue reading

Assemblyman Chuck Devore: “It’s not contributing anything of value to the campus.”

Assemblyman DeVore seeks ban of Muslim Student Union from UC Irvine

8:11 p.m. | KPCC Wire Services | KPCC     Feb 23, 2010

IRVINE — Assemblyman Chuck DeVore sent a letter to UC Irvine’s chancellor asking him to ban the Muslim Student Union from campus following several of the group members’ arrests while disrupting a speech by Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

DeVore, R-Irvine, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., also accused the Muslim Student Union of “passing the hat” for Hamas at a fundraiser for the “terrorist organization” last year. Continue reading

Disciplinary letters from the UC Irvine Office of Judicial Affairs.

2010-02-19 18:21:49

The UC Irvine students who were arrested after protesting a Feb.8 speech by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren have received disciplinary letters from the university office of judicial affairs.

UCI sent the letter to the eight Irvine student protesters early last week.

The UC Riverside’s student conduct office is reviewing video footage and materials from the speech and demonstration but has yet to make a decision regarding the three UCR students who were arrested. Administrators have sent inquiry letters to the students in question. Continue reading

UC Irvine take note: OC Federation CEO to “intensely monitor” the situation.

Jewish leaders want U.C. Irvine to react powerfully

February 18, 2010

by ben harris , jta

The chief executive of the Jewish Federation of Orange County has put U.C. Irvine on notice — he’ll be watching what’s happening there.

Eleven students were arrested Feb. 8 for disrupting a speech by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren.

In the wake of that event, federation head Shalom Elcott said the Jewish community will “intensely monitor” the response of the university. Continue reading

European Jewish Press: B’nai B’rith International provides Chancellor Drake with a copy of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency’s (FRA) working definition of anti-Semitism

Note: To View the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency’s (FRA) working definition of anti-Semitism Click Here


Jewish group denounces ‘anti-Semitic trends’ at University of California

European Jewish Press


B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin sent a letter to the University’s Chancellor, Michael Drake.

The letter was sent following recent anti-Israel demonstrations at a campus appearance by Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, where students repeatedly disrupted his remarks.

“Such heated protests contribute to a persistent atmosphere of hatred and intimidation for Jewish students at the school,” they said.

B’nai B’rith also provided the Chancellor a copy of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency’s (FRA) working definition of anti-Semitism that has been in worldwide use since 2005, in the hope it will be used to help students and faculty better understand and identify all forms of anti-Semitism. Continue reading

Chemerinsky:”I have not seen the slightest indication of anti-Semitism”

On February 12, 2008 The OCITF released its  Report and  Findings and Recommendations as a result of a year long investigation of complaints from Jewish and non-Jewish students about anti-Semitism at UC Irvine. In our view the situation has grown progressively worse.

On February 14, 2009 ADL Regional Director Kevin O’Grady Wrote a letter to Chancellor Michael Drake stating in Part:

“….We firmly believe that your unwillingness to specifically condemn the anti-Semitic comments that were spewed on your campus last year in conjunction with MSU’s activities sent a signal that they were acceptable and led to the escalation of hate this year. In such circumstances, it is your responsibility as Chancellor to exercise your own First Amendment rights and use your bully pulpit to denounce Amir Abdul Malik Ali by name, to remove the offensive display from the entrance of your campus and to restore the integrity of U.C. Irvine as a place that promotes a civil, respectful and welcoming academic environment. There is no legitimate excuse for inaction now – enough is enough!…” Read the letter here:


Here is Dean Chemerinskys OP Ed in the LA Jewish Journal

The Reality of the University of California, Irvine

February 19, 2010

The claim that the University of California, Irvine is inhospitable to Jews is so far from reality that one must wonder whether those making the accusation have ever been on the campus or spoken to Jewish students and faculty there.  In my almost two years of working and living on campus, I have not seen the slightest indication of anti-Semitism.  I have taught hundreds of college and law students at UCI, many Jewish, and have not heard one complaint about an anti-Semitic incident on campus. Continue reading

And the solution? Host a series of discussions on civility and values

UCI ruckus leads to forums on civility

February 18th, 2010, 10:42 am

by Gary Robbins, science writer-editor

Less than two weeks after 11 students were arrested at UC Irvine for disturbing a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, the university’s chancellor says the campus will soon host a series of discussions on civility and values. Continue reading

Vice-Chancellor Gomez: “…this is a very serious situation.” Now what?

Dear UCI Students

Over the past few years, we have had numerous opportunities to talk about free speech – about what is and is not protected within the broad scope of the First Amendment. Now, following the incident at Israeli Ambassador Oren’s disrupted address on Feb. 8, it is clear we need to review some actions that are not protected and do not legally constitute free speech.

Preventing someone else from speaking is not the same thing as exercising free speech. As Chancellor Drake has stated, “A great university depends on the free exchange of ideas. This is non-negotiable.” Disrupting someone else’s right to speak is antithetical to the principles of the First Amendment because one cannot claim the right to speak in service of depriving someone else of that right. In some contexts we call that censorship.

In California, anyone “without authority of law willfully disturbs or breaks up any assembly or meeting that is not unlawful in its character…” can be charged with a misdemeanor under California Penal Code §403. Other penal codes can apply as well. In short, this is a very serious situation.

No one can steal the right to speak from someone else. No one’s right to speak is greater than anyone else’s. If you want to claim your right to speak, you must acknowledge and respect the same right for everyone.

Manuel N. Gómez
Vice Chancellor,
Student Affairs

Chemerinsky: Students and others who disrupted an address by the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. can’t claim 1st Amendment rights


UC Irvine’s free speech debate

By Erwin Chemerinsky

LA Times Opinion

February 18, 2010

College campuses, especially at public universities, are places where all ideas should be expressed and debated. No speech ever should be stopped or punished because of the viewpoint expressed. Of course, there must be rules to regulate the time, place and manner of such expression to preserve order and even to make sure that speech can occur. Continue reading

Associated Press: ZOA urges doners to avoid UC Irvine

By GILLIAN FLACCUS (AP) – Feb 17, 2010

IRVINE, Calif. — After months of growing tension between Jewish and Muslim students at the University of California, Irvine, the Zionist Organization of America is asking potential students to apply elsewhere and donors to stop sending contributions.

The New York-based organization lambasted Chancellor Michael Drake in a statement Tuesday for not condemning anti-Semitic speech on campus and enabling a years-long history of “bigotry, discrimination and the violation of civil rights” by the school’s Muslim Student Union.

“We’re not asking the university to infringe on anyone’s free speech rights, but our contention all along is that the chancellor has his own free speech rights, and for whatever reason, he’s refusing to exercise them,” said Susan Tuchman, director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice. “He can come out and condemn the speech as hurtful and anti-Semitic.”

Drake and the school had no comment on the statement, spokeswoman Cathy Lawhon said. Continue reading

CAIR press release

CAIR, NLG Ask Calif. University, DA to Drop Charges Against ‘Irvine 11’

PR Newswire

University’s action against protesters selectively and disproportionately penalizes students, harms free speech Continue reading

Orwellian Logic?

Muslim Public Affairs Council defends students’ “right” to shout down an Israeli speaker

February 12, 12:20 AMLA Middle Eastern Policy Examiner

Paul Kujawsky

One doesn’t want to invoke George Orwell lightly. But there is something positively Orwellian about defending, in the name of freedom of speech, a gang’s attempt to shut down a speech.

The facts are these:

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, was invited to speak at the University of California Irvine. The invitation came from the Law School and the Political Science Department. Now, UC Irvine has an active–some would say, aggressive (others would say, obnoxious)–chapter of the Muslim Student Union. The UCI MSU has a, shall we say, controversial history, ranging from allegedly fundraising for Hamas to hosting virulently anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic speakers.

Enter the double standard. The MSU feels perfectly free to bring to campus speakers that Jews, friends of Israel, and others consider absolutely repulsive. And it has the right to do so (aside from providing material support to terrorists, which is forbidden by federal law). But when the MSU considers a speaker not to be kosher (as it were), it seeks to disrupt his appearance. Continue reading

Muslim group is calling on UC Irvine to investigate the arrests of 11 students

Muslim group wants investigation into UCI arrests

The Associated Press

Posted: 02/10/2010 07:17:23 PM PST

Updated: 02/10/2010 07:17:23 PM PST

IRVINE, Calif.—A prominent Muslim group is calling on UC Irvine to investigate the arrests of 11 students during a raucous lecture where Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren spoke about U.S.-Israel relations earlier this week.The Muslim Public Affairs Council sent a letter Wednesday to UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake saying it is unclear what laws the students broke.

The group says schools should not discourage students from expressing their First Amendment rights.

Oren’s speech was interrupted by shouting and protests multiple times Monday night.

Eleven students were cited for disturbing a public event and released.

Earlier, the UCI Muslim Student Union issued an email condemning Oren’s appearance. It was not clear if the arrested students were members of the group.

“If the university administration refuses to act, it becomes an accomplice to their acts of verbal violence and intimidation.”

From: The Orange County Register
2010-02-09 13:07:00

Free speech’s survival is at stake at UC Irvine. Its fate is in the hands of UCI Chancellor Michael Drake. Continue reading

12 arrested at UCI for disrupting Israeli Ambassadors speech. Event moderator: “this is beyond embarrasing”

Video from: The Orange County Register (click here for full article)

ZOA: Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations letter urges U.S. Department of Justice to investigate fundraising by Viva Palestina at UC Irvine

Courtesy of the ZOA:

ZOA Praises Presidents’ Conference For Urging Justice Dept. to Investigate Alleged Fundraising for Terrorist Group Hamas at UC Irvine’s Muslim Student Event

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) praises the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations for urging the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the solicitation of funds for a group called Viva Palestina at a Muslim Student Union event at the University of California, Irvine on May 21, 2009, and whether those funds were provided to the terrorist group Hamas.  In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., Alan P. Solow and Malcolm Hoenlein – the Chairman and Executive Vice Chairman, respectively, of the Presidents’ Conference – said, “We strongly support an investigation by the Department of Justice into whether funds solicited were provided to Hamas, which has been designated by the Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.  Federal law prohibits furnishing material support or resources to U.S.-designated terrorist groups like Hamas.”

On May 21, 2009, a registered student group at UC Irvine called the Muslim Student Union featured extremist British politician and Israel-basher George Galloway, who spoke about his group called Viva Palestina and the convoys of supply-filled vehicles that the group was bringing into Gaza.  This program was part of the annual Israel-bashing event that the Muslim Student Union sponsors on campus, this one entitled “Israel: The Politics of Genocide.”

There is evidence that at the event, funds were solicited from the audience for Viva Palestina.  There is additional evidence – including a 31-page report about Viva Palestina prepared by terrorism experts at Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism – that Viva Palestina’s goal is not charitable but to provide support to Hamas.  In fact, during the March 2009 Viva Palestina convoy to Gaza, Galloway stated, “This is not charity.  This is politics.” Continue reading

ZOA letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr./ US Attorney George S. Cardona

Below is a  letter from the Zionist Organization of America  (ZOA)  to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. and  US Attorney George S Cardona expressing concern and requesting an investigation of fund raising activities conducted by the Muslim Student Union (MSU) and George Galloway in May 2009.  The Orange County Independent Task Force on anti-Semitism (OCITF) has received a carbon copy of the letter.

Read the ZOA Letter Here

A “Fundamental Breach of Civility”

These excerpts are from an article published on December 11, 2006, by then Johns Hopkins President William Brody

Important words:

By William R. Brody

A Civil Tongue

It is time to talk about freedom of speech.

“Recent events on the Homewood campus have provoked allegations that the university is not sufficiently protecting the free expression of ideas among our students. In particular, the outcry and controversy surrounding a racially demeaning invitation to a fraternity party, and the resulting sanctions imposed by the Student Conduct Board (which are currently on appeal), are being construed as an attempt by the university to prohibit speech it doesn’t particularly want to hear.

I disagree….”

“…. What I see here is not a courageous trespass of taboo speech but rather a fundamental breach of civility of the sort that is so commonly displayed in disparagement, mockery or epithets drawn along racial or ethnic lines. It is, simply put, common name-calling. This is what I believe we should agree is unacceptable in our community of free and open discourse. Let us not forget that true civility is not a program of fair treatment for this or that constituency but rather an underlying and fundamental commitment to showing respect for everybody…”

“…To any who doubt the consequence of teaching respect and civility, or who claim we are out of line in demanding that all members of our community comport themselves honorably in their dealings with others, I say this: Look around you. Look at the world we live in, where so many societies are literally falling apart because group A would rather encounter death and destruction than show basic human respect for group B. These are not trivial matters. Let us never underestimate the value of civility, not just to protect people’s feelings but to preserve the possibility of freedom itself…The Johns Hopkins University Gazette