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

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

By Paul Miller/JNS.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JPOST Editiorial: “In trying to silence Oren, they made a mockery of the university’s commitment to freedom of speech and treated its dedication to respectful dialogue with downright disdain”

Away with campus timidity
In trying to silence Oren, Muslim campaigners made a mockery of UC-Irvine’s commitment to freedom of speech.

In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful… The members of the Muslim Student Union at the University of California, Irvine, condemn and strongly oppose the presence of Michael Oren on our campus… Oren personally participated in the Israeli Defense Force in wars that took place in Lebanon and Palestine…Oren and his partners should only be granted a speakers platform in the International Criminal Court…

In the name of demonizing the Jewish state, intimidating its supporters and making it ever more difficult to present Israel’s case, Muslim campaigners and their allies at the UC-Irvine campus on Monday repeatedly disrupted a talk by Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren. Eleven of the louts were detained, issued summonses and released.

In trying to silence Oren, they made a mockery of the university’s commitment to freedom of speech and treated its dedication to respectful dialogue with downright disdain. Yes, they probably discomfited our ambassador, but they shamed UC-Irvine and its alumni. Continue reading

“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)

UCI Police Chief: Campus Police do not have the means to control boorish and intimidating behavior on campus

Correction: Paragraph three line one  should read :   The incidents occurred on May 15, 2008 during a campus rally sponsored by UC Irvine’s Muslim Student Union featuring controversial speaker Malik Ali.

UCI Police Chief: Campus Police do not have the means to control boorish and intimidating behavior on campus

Huntington Beach, CA– February 12, 2009–In a written response to criticism of  UCI’s Police Department investigation of complaints of assaults on a student journalist and a Christian evangelist,  UC Irvine Police Chief Paul Henisey stated the following:

“… I do agree there were certainly instances of boorish and intimidating behavior.  Some of this behavior involved people not associated with the University.  Neither the University nor the Police Department has the means or ability to control such rude or obnoxious behavior…”. Continue reading

UCI Pro-Israel Student Group Website Hacked

Website of Pro-Israel organization at UC Irvine hacked

UC Irvine’s pro-Israel website Anteaters for Israel (AFI), has been hacked into by alleged cyber-jihadists. Campus officials have been notified.

According to Vice Chancellor Manuel Gomez:  “……I find this act reprehensible.  Upon investigation it turns out that both the AFI and the Hacker’s website are off campus. Since it does not involve a UCI server, we we have no jurisdiction, and there is little we can do. I have informed our police department, and our Dean of Students also alerted AFI….’

Loretta Schertz Keller : The ‘new’ anti-Semitism creeps on college campuses

Article Launched: 09/26/2008 06:21:44 PM PDT

WHAT Is anti-Semitism, and how does it differ from the so-called “new anti-Semitism” that’s currently proliferating on the country’s college campuses? Is being anti-Israel the same as being anti-Semitic? Does constitutionally protected free speech cover hate speech too?

On Sept. 10, the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center presented a talk by Roz Rothstein, executive director of Stand With Us, an international education organization founded by Rothstein in 2001 in response to the Palestinian Second Intifada. With her was Roberta Seid, a colleague, and together, the two women spoke on “The New Anti-Semitism on Campus, on the Internet and in Churches.” They’re particularly concerned that college students, many of whom have little or no knowledge of Jewish or Israeli history, are vulnerable to misleading and fabricated statements made by anti-Semites. They regard education as the key to combating what they call this new anti-Semitism.

A definition of anti-Semitism that’s widely used today is that it’s hatred of Jews simply because they’re Jewish. This has certainly been the case historically.

Also historical is that for thousands of years, Jewish prayers have included a fervent plea to God for a return to Israel, which was considered the promised land. Jews who still identify strongly with Israel feel that being anti-Israel is the same thing as being anti-Semitic. A more widespread view is that condemning individual acts of Israel is not the same as anti-Semitism, but condemning the state of Israel without justification constitutes anti-Israelism – and that stems from anti-Semitism. Continue reading

Task Force Will Continue to Monitor Anti-Semitism at UCI

Huntington Beach, CA – September 19, 2008 – The Orange County Independent Task Force on anti-Semitism will continue to monitor fresh allegations of ongoing anti-Semitic activity at The University of California, Irvine (UCI).  The Task Force consists of Jewish and non-Jewish members of the community, and includes current and former faculty members, religious and lay community leaders.

On February 12, 2008, the Independent Task Force completed its year long investigation at 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.
The complete 34 page report can be found at:
Over the past several months, the Task Force has continued to receive disturbing reports including the following:

•    Anti-Semitic programs sponsored by MSU have continued, with guest speakers ratcheting up anti-Semitic hate speech.

•    On March 30, 2008, twenty current and former Jewish and non-Jewish UCI students issued a press release expressing (in part) deep concern “…about the anti-Semitism at UCI that has been frequently couched as false and hateful attacks on Israel. We do not believe that UCI Chancellor Michael Drake has exercised his responsibility as an educator and university leader in response to the anti-Semitism…”

•    According to The Orange County Anti-Defamation Leagues (ADL) press release on March 5, 2008:

“……The Jewish communities in Orange County and Long Beach remain the religious group most targeted for attack. Unfortunately, many of these incidents continue to occur on school campuses.  We are particularly disturbed by those incidents that occur in the lower grades,” said Kevin O’Grady, ADL Orange County Regional Director.  Incidents across the region included vandalism, hate mail sent to community leaders and organizations, and white supremacist newspapers distributed throughout Orange County.
“Most disturbing, in the Orange County and Long Beach region, is existence of anti-Semitic speakers and faculty members on university campuses.  The continued willingness of the Muslim Students’ Union at the University of California, Irvine to invite highly anti-Semitic speakers to campus remains a concern.  These speakers continue to blame Jews for controlling American foreign policy, the world’s media and banking systems and for the U.S. involvement in Iraq.  Kevin MacDonald, an anti-Semitic professor at California State University, Long Beach continues to promote his version of academic anti-Semitism; a version that is supported by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.  While the leaders of both schools have broadly condemned hate speech, neither school has condemned speakers by name…”


•    A press release dated May 13, 2008, issued by the “student leaders” of the five main Jewish campus organizations, called attention to the May 12-16th MSU event, “Never Again? The Palestinian Holocaust” stating, in part, the following:

“…In the upcoming week the pro-Israeli Students of the University of California, Irvine will witness acts of hatred from fellow students. Ringroad, a main road on UCI’s campus, will have a makeshift wall which will have pictures, articles, and a bloodied Israeli flag that blames Israel and Jews for a so-called Palestinian Holocaust in Israel .This threatening event will be taking place all week…”(emphasis added).
Letter from Jewish student leaders at UCI—May 13, 2008.

•    During “Palestine Awareness Week”, caricatures depicting stereotypical “hooked nosed Jews” and displays invoking “blood libel” appeared on MSU’s “apartheid wall” which mocks Israel as a “racist apartheid state”.

•    In May 2008, a female Jewish journalist reported that she and a male companion were allegedly “accosted in the parking lot by individuals purported to be male MSU supporters who allegedly climbed on the hood of her car to get the vin number. These men were allegedly upset that they were being filmed by the woman at a recently concluded MSU event.

•    In May 2008, a non Jewish Student Journalist allegedly had a camera thrust in his face by a purported MSU Member.

•    In May 2008, a student Journalist alleged that he was told not to film MSU female members by a senior campus official because it was allegedly upsetting the male Muslim students. MSU supporters routinely photograph people at their events with impunity.

•    In May 2008, students reported an attempt by senior campus officials to allegedly inhibit Jewish students from carrying protest placards on a sidewalk adjacent to an MSU speaker. The officials cited “fire safety” as the reason; meanwhile the sidewalk on the immediate opposite side was clogged by a bus load of visiting students, who had stopped to view the commotion.

•    In May 2008, concern was raised that MSU has been allowed to utilize its own members as “security” at its’ controversial and inflammatory events.

•    When asked about the relatively small number of campus police in attendance at large, often inflammatory MSU events, a senior campus police officer explained that “lack of funds” from the University was the reason. The officer complained that “several years ago an officer was injured at one of these events”.

•    Recently, the UC Irvine Anthill Pub prominently displayed a photograph of Amir Malik Ali.   Some of Malik Ali’s most notable statements made during his hateful speeches at UCI:
“The truth of the matter is your days are numbered. We will fight you. We will fight you until we are either martyred or until we are victorious.”  “They [Jews] think they are superman, but we, the Muslims, are kryptonite. They [Jews] know that their days are numbered.”

•    A Jewish student was quoted as saying the campus situation is sometimes “intense and hostile.” This student claims said that he wont “go around wearing a Jewish star because you never know what is going to happen.”

•    According to recently obtained documentation, MSU received $6,500 from Associated Students of UCI for “Palestine Awareness Week”.  The MSU sponsored hate speakers Amir Abdel Malik Ali, Imam Muhammad al Asi and noted Holocaust denier Norman Finkelstein.  Many campus student groups regularly receive funding for their particular programs; however there is no evidence to demonstrate that any groups other than MSU use such funds to promote programs featuring incendiary and hateful speakers.
•    According to the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is currently investigating alleged incidents of anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation and discrimination that occurred in May 2007 at UCI. This is the second Title VI investigation initiated by ZOA on behalf of Jewish students at UCI. The first complaint was initiated in 2004.

Anyone in the community with knowledge of, or who has witnessed acts of anti-Semitism at UCI, is encouraged to contact the Task Force:

Jan Mark Dudman Esq., President
Robert L. Winer M.D., Executive vice-President
Ted Bleiweis, Executive Director

Jewish Journal Cartoon takes aim at campus anti-Semitism

From the Jewish Journal

From the Jewish Journal

IsraelNews.com: Global Academic Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism becomes annual ritual

2007-2008: Another Year of Global Academic Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism

Sunday, September 14, 2008 – By: Gerstenfeld, Dr. Manfred

…….The academic year 2007-2008 saw ongoing anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic incidents in various countries. Among them is Israel Apartheid Week, which has become an annual ritual in a number of cities on several continents. So have the calls of the University and College Union (UCU) in the United Kingdom for discriminatory measures against Israeli universities and academics. In several universities, such as on some campuses of the University of California, anti-Israelism is endemic…….

Investigations at the University of California-Irvine
In 2006 the Hillel Foundation of Orange County set up a task force to investigate anti-Semitism on the UC-Irvine campus. They interviewed people about incidents that had occurred there. Officials from the school, however, including the chancellor, refused to be interviewed claiming it was against school policy. The interviews began in February 2007, but by August of that year Hillel decided the task was too extensive and discontinued its association with the project.[32]
The investigation was later continued by members of the Jewish community of Orange County. They published their report in February 2008. This document is of major importance as it examines the structural problems of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli hate at one American university in their totality rather than dealing only with a number of incidents. It can serve as a model for similar investigations at other universities, Columbia and UC-Santa Cruz being among the prime candidates.
The new group’s report states that “acts of anti-Semitism are real and well documented. Jewish students have been harassed. Hate speech is unrelenting.” Furthermore, “Some faculty members have used their classroom as a forum for their anti-Israel agenda.”[33]
The authors also assert that: “The Muslim Student Union…allies itself and identifies itself with terrorist groups that are enemies of the Unites States.” About the administration they note:

The Chancellor has failed to exercise his moral authority as an educator and leader by abrogating his leadership responsibilities. The boundaries of rational and reasonable discourse by constituencies that have differing positions on emotional issues have not been established. There is no indication that the University is at all concerned about the disconnect between campus values and the values of the greater society.[34]

The report also mentions that the Jewish community as a whole has not been proactive. It even includes a suggestion that Jewish students should not attend school at UC-Irvine. Continue reading

ZOA: New UC President needs to stop anti-Semitism at UCI

The ZOA mentions the Task Force in its critique of UCI. The new UC President’s reply will be posted as well, when it’s published. Download the letter: ZOA Letter to UC President


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has urged the newly-appointed President of the University of California (UC), Mark G. Yudof, to address ongoing problems of anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing on two UC campuses: UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz. In an eight-page letter to President Yudof dated August 8, 2008, the ZOA described in detail “the pattern of anti-Semitism on both of these campuses, and the hostile environment that the bigotry has engendered for students and faculty.” The ZOA noted that President Yudof has publicly identified himself as a Jewish activist and a strong defender of Israel, and thus presumably would “share our concern about campus anti-Semitism.” The ZOA called on President Yudof to take several “reasonable steps . . . to rectify the ongoing problems.” (To read the ZOA’s letter to UC President Yudof, click here.)

With respect to UC Irvine, the ZOA described the events regularly sponsored by the university’s Muslim Student Union (MSU), which “demonize and vilify Jews, Zionism and Israel.” According to the ZOA, “[t]he events’ titles alone convey just how false and hateful the events are,” including “Zionism Hijacking Judaism,” “Israel: The 4th Reich,” and “From Auschwitz to Gaza: The Politics of Genocide,” a program absurdly suggesting that the systematic and deliberate murder of Jews in Auschwitz is comparable to the situation today in Gaza. Last May, the MSU sponsored such programs as “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”; “Death to Apartheid: A Farewell to Zionism”; and “Silence is Consent: Stop the Palestinian Holocaust.” The ZOA pointed out that “[t]hese events promoted the monstrous lie that Israel is committing genocide and perpetrating a holocaust on the Palestinian Arabs.”
Continue reading

SPLC Report:Anti-Semitism Goes To School in Orange County

Anti-Semitism Goes to School
Hate on California, Oregon Campuses
By Sonia Scherr
Intelligence Report
Fall 2008
Malik Ali
Amir Abdel Malik Ali, who spoke at the University of California, Irvine, this spring at the invitation of the Muslim Student Union, trotted out a series of anti-Semitic canards. (Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism)

Half a century ago, American institutions of higher education nationwide had quotas sharply restricting the number of Jewish students allowed to enroll. Today, those quotas have ceased to exist — along with the school-sanctioned discrimination they embodied. But while anti-Jewish sentiment no longer receives the blessing of university officials, it hasn’t been fully eradicated from campuses. “Many colleges throughout the United States continue to experience incidents of anti-Semitism,” states a 2006 report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. “This is a serious problem which warrants further attention.”

In terms of numbers alone, the problem may seem small. An audit by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which fights bigotry, found that 94 anti-Semitic incidents were reported on U.S. campuses in 2007 — a number that has remained fairly stable over the past few years and represents only about 6% of known occurrences last year of harassment and vandalism targeting Jews. But such incidents tend to affect campus communities disproportionately, often resulting in very public controversies and bitter disputes between students.

Amir Abdel Malik Ali

College campuses are particularly susceptible to anti-Semitism that originates in certain sectors of the far left. This source of anti-Jewish sentiment often begins with condemnation of Israeli policies and devolves into derogatory statements about all Jewish people. Although criticism of Israel does not typically amount to anti-Semitism — and many critics of the Jewish state are unfairly accused of bigotry — in some cases those who denounce Israel also cross the line into denigration of Jews as a group.

According to the report from the federal civil rights commission: “On many campuses, anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist propaganda has been disseminated that includes traditional anti-Semitic elements, including age-old Jewish stereotypes and defamation. This has included, for example, anti-Israel literature that perpetuates the medieval anti-Semitic blood libel of Jews slaughtering children for ritual purpose, as well as anti-Zionist propaganda that exploits ancient stereotypes of Jews as greedy, aggressive, overly powerful or conspiratorial.”

In addition, bigoted speakers who are spurned elsewhere can end up finding a platform on campuses, which are understandably reluctant to bar the expression of even highly offensive views. “Racists and demagogues have ably exploited schools’ commitment to free speech, cloaking their propaganda in the guise of academic freedom,” states a 1997 ADL report about anti-Semitism on campus. “They have two objectives: hooking the country’s future leaders on the ideas they preach, and generating mainstream media coverage through the controversy that inevitably erupts over particularly incendiary events.”

The Intelligence Report took an in-depth look at two different examples of modern-day anti-Semitism on college campuses (neither of which occurred in the classroom or was sanctioned in any way by university officials). In both cases, legitimate concerns about Israeli treatment of Palestinians found expression alongside anti-Jewish canards and Holocaust denial. During appearances on public university campuses in California, two Muslim clerics have espoused anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Sept. 11 and asserted that Jews control the media and other powerful institutions. Several hundred miles north, a discussion group seeking justice for Palestinians has morphed into a haven for white supremacists that’s brought a string of Holocaust deniers to speak at the University of Oregon. Continue reading

B’nai B’rith Magazine: Anti-Semitism still around on college campuses

Campus Anti-Semitism:
The Issues Have Changed, the Problem Has Not
By Janet Lubman Rathner and Alison Goldstein
Jewish students in the 21st century might well face cases of anti-Semitism on campus, but the causes are considerably different than those that plagued their parents and grandparents in decades past. While, in the last century, the main problem involved the imposition of “quotas”—and an illogical hate of Jews—now it often has to do with the Middle East conflict.

At a recent University of California, Irvine (UCI) rally organized by the Muslim Student Union, a member applauded the use of Palestinian suicide bombers in Israel while another showed off a swastika tattoo.

These actions—indicative of the years-long pattern of hostile behavior directed toward UCI‘s Jewish students—led the Orange County (Calif.) Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism on Campus to make a shocking recommendation in a report released in February: “Students with a strong Jewish identity should consider enrolling elsewhere unless, and until, tangible changes are made.”

According to the report, anti-Semitism on the UCI campus is thriving because “[t]he Chancellor has failed to exercise his moral authority as an educator and leader by abrogating his leadership responsibilities. The boundaries of rational and reasonable discourse by constituencies that have differing positions on emotional issues have not been established.”

UCI‘s extensive and ongoing xenophobic atmosphere is what led to the creation of the task force in 2006.

“We looked at [the task force] as a way to bring the community together,” says Ted Bleiweis, public relations chairman for the task force. Bleiweis says that, in this kind of environment, “the situation for Jewish students is untenable because of the hatred.” Continue reading

Federal Government Initiates New Investigation Into UC Irvine’s Response To Campus Anti-Semitism

This just in from the ZOA

By letter to the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) dated April 25, 2008, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has indicated that it will be investigating several incidents of alleged anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation and discrimination that occurred in May 2007, at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). The ZOA had brought these incidents to OCR’s attention almost one year ago, asserting that the incidents show that UCI has continued to respond ineffectively to campus anti-Semitism, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI). Title VI requires that recipients of federal funding (like UCI) ensure that their programs and activities are free discrimination based on “race, color, or national origin.” If the recipient is found to have violated Title VI, it can lose its federal funding.

Petition protests Anti-Semitism at UCI

To:  UC Irvine

We, the undersigned, condemn this year’s “Never Again? The Palestinian Holocaust” as yet another program sponsored by UC Irvine’s Muslim Student Union that demonizes Jews, Zionism and Israel with falsehoods and misrepresentations, including the monstrous lie that Israel is perpetrating a holocaust against the Palestinian Arabs. These programs are not legitimate political discourse about the conflict in the Middle East. They are hateful, anti-Semitic, and violate UCI’s principles and values, which call for a campus environment of positive engagement and mutual respect, free from expressions of bigotry. As the United States Civil Rights Commission declared, “Anti-Semitic bigotry is no less morally deplorable when camouflaged as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism.”

We call on the Muslim Student Union to renounce the rhetoric of hate and engage in civil intellectual discourse that is free from falsehoods, misrepresentations, prejudice and bigotry.


The Undersigned


JPost: Fight UCI Anti-Semitism

Article mentions Task Force:

Fight UC Irvine campus anti-Semitism

Apr. 3, 2008
MICHAL LANDO,  Jerusalem Post correspondent, NEW YORK , THE JERUSALEM POST

A group of students at University of California, Irvine – known as one of the more militant campuses in the country when it comes to anti-Israel activity – took the chancellor to task in a news release this week for failing to adequately respond to the ongoing incidents on campus

The 20 current and former UC Irvine students said they were “deeply concerned about the anti-Semitism at UCI that has been frequently couched as false and hateful attacks on Israel.”

The letter follows a statement by campus Jewish groups that called concern over anti-Semitic activity “exaggerated” and defended the administration’s handling of the situation

The authors of the letter disagree: “We do not believe that UCI Chancellor Michael Drake has exercised his responsibility as an educator and university leader in response to the anti-Semitism,” they stated. Continue reading

“Concerned Students” Press Release

Jewish Students respond to Jewish students:

We are current and former students at UC Irvine who are deeply concerned about the anti-Semitism at UCI that has been frequently couched as false and hateful attacks on Israel. We do not believe that UCI Chancellor Michael Drake has exercised his responsibility as an educator and university leader in response to the anti-Semitism. We strongly disagree with the press release issued by five Jewish students at UCI on March 26, 2008, supporting Chancellor Drake.

1. We are deeply disappointed that Chancellor Drake continues to refuse to condemn ongoing hate-filled programs and speeches on campus that demonize Israel and Jews. These hateful programs have included “Holocaust in the Holy Land;” “Israel: The 4th Reich;” and recently in February 2008, “From Auschwitz to Gaza: The Politics of Genocide.” Hateful and bigoted speakers have made such statements as “Zionist Jews . . . are the new Nazis,” and that “the apartheid state of Israel is on the way down . . . your days are numbered. We will fight you until we are martyred or until we are victorious.” Speakers have blamed Jews for 9-11. The medieval anti-Semitic blood libel – that Jews use the blood of non-Jews for ritual purposes – has been dredged up on campus: Last May, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was caricatured as a cannibal, and other Israeli leaders were described as his “supporting cast.” The Star of David appeared at the bottom of the image. Also last May, a poster outrageously and falsely claimed that “children as young as 3 will be shot on sight” by Israelis, and there were images of the Israeli flag smeared with blood.

Continue reading

OC Task Force Investigation Finds Anti-Semitism at University of California, Irvine and Reviews Findings of DOE’s Office for Civil Rights

Dowload the Full OC Independent Task Force Report

Huntington Beach, CA –February 12, 2008 –The Orange County Independent Task Force released its Findings and Recommendations (Report), concerning alleged incidents of anti-Semitism at The University of California, Irvine (UCI). The investigation began in February 2007 and lasted approximately one year. Over the course of the investigation Task Force members interviewed, students, faculty and community members and visited the campus on many occasions. Over 80 hours of interviews and numerous documents, articles, and written complaints were used in the compilation of the Report.

Among its findings, The Task Force investigation has concluded the following:

• The existence of: physical and verbal harassment, hate speech directed at Jews by guest speakers, hate events sponsored by the Muslim Student Union (MSU), disruptive behavior on the part of Muslim students when pro-Israeli speakers appear on campus, anti-Israeli classroom environments, and an unresponsive, if not a hostile, administration.

• Hate speakers have targeted “Zionist Jews” at MSU events; that MSU has defiled Jewish symbols, often using depiction of anti-Semitic stereotypes; and that Jewish students were targets of intimidation.

• There has been a lack of response by the administration that has selectively enforced University rules and regulations.

• The Chancellor has refused to unequivocally condemn anti-Semitic speech although other college/university presidents have spoke clearly and decisively against this form of hate speech.

• For the most part, Jewish organizations in Orange County have been ineffective in dealing with anti-Semitism at UCI.

Some of the major recommendations include: UCI should be held accountable for its actions and inaction by community leaders, Jewish organizations, and donors. Students with a strong Jewish identity should consider not attending UCI until tangible changes are made. The Board of Regents should investigate the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs in his capacity as an impartial arbiter of University Rules and Regulations.

The Task Force had initially decided to release its Report and Recommendations in December 2007. The release was delayed in order to study the report(s) issued by the United States Department of Education Office, Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

On November 30, 2007, (OCR) issued two reports contained in separate letters written to Dr. Michael V. Drake, Chancellor of UCI, and to Ms. Susan B. Tuchman of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). ZOA initiated the complaint in 2004 on behalf of students at UCI. These two letter/findings are not identical and do not contain exactly the same listed allegations. The reason why OCR issued two separate letter/findings is unclear. For example, the letter to Ms. Tuchman deals with a total of 26 allegations while the letter to Chancellor Drake deals with only 13 allegations.

In addition:

• Certain allegations were dismissed because they were not “related to the national origin of any of the Jewish students who complained”.

• Several other allegations were dismissed as “untimely filed”.

• The University was excused from any wrongdoing based on minimal action it did after these events occurred.

• Key administration figures were not interviewed by OCR investigators until late September 2006, nearly two years after the initial complaint was filed by ZOA on October 11, 2004.

The OCR investigation does not deny that these “allegations” of anti-Semitism occurred. In fact, OCR’s investigation and report(s) substantiates this Task Force’s findings that significant anti-Semitic activities have existed UCI for some period of time and that, while the University administration may not have done anything illegal in this regard, the University has done little if anything, except for token actions after each incident, to help prevent, discourage, curtail or punish the perpetrators of these anti-Semitic activities on campus.

Daily Pilot on OCR Report

Report: UCI not anti-Semitic

Office of Civil Rights says probe stemmed from complaints dating from 2003, with speakers as centers of attention.

UCI does not discriminate against Jewish students, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights in a report UCI officials released Tuesday.

The report capped a three-year federal probe launched after students complained of anti-Semitism dating back to 2003.

“We’re gratified and pleased that the review has concluded that there were no violations of civil rights,” said Manuel Gomez, vice chancellor of student affairs. “We abhor any uncivil or illogical propagandist hate speech. The university is obligated legally to, as a public institution, to enforce the Constitution of the United States and Constitution of California and protect the 1st Amendment.”

The office of civil rights looked into more than a dozen incidents of alleged anti-Semitism on campus, none of which were sponsored by the university, Gomez said. Controversial speakers have often been the focal point of complaints by both Jewish and Muslim students. Department officials examined a talk by noted anti-Israel speaker Amir Abdel Malik Ali. While the department found his broad generalizations as offensive to Jews, they were “not based on the national origin of the Jewish students, but rather based on opposition to the policies of Israel.”

Efforts to reach UCI Muslim Student Union President Omar Zarka for comment Tuesday afternoon were unsuccessful.

“I believe anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism,” said Rabbi Mark Miller, a member of an independent task force investigating anti-Semitism at UCI. “I think it’s acceptable and even admirable to offer constructive criticisms of Israel as an American does of America. But when it crosses the line into a denial of Israel’s right to exist I believe that’s anti-Semitism.”

Tuesday’s announcement will not change the task force’s inquiry, member Jesse Rosenblum said. “We don’t consider it a setback because it’s like two different jurisdictions looking at the problem,” he said. “They may be looking at it from a legal sense. We are looking at it as concerned community members. We hope the community, and UCI especially, will consider [the task force’s report] as they move forward.”

The task force has been considered independent since the Hillel Foundation of Orange County distanced itself from the group over the summer. Its report is expected sometime before the end of the year.

OC Register Editorial

Friday, June 1, 2007

Today’s editorial: UCI falls short on a test of leadership

Defending free speech is responsible, but so is denouncing hateful speech.

An Orange County Register editorial

We’re used to seeing disturbing pictures of angry political conflict from the Middle East, but not used to seeing such anger here in Orange County. Specifically, we’ve been a bit shocked by ongoing events at UC Irvine where Muslim and Jewish students have been in a state of simmering conflict, stemming in part from a series of Muslim speakers and protests highly critical of Israel.

Unfortunately, the school administration seems to be punting in its response – firm in its defense of free speech, to its credit, yet reluctant to criticize clearly objectionable behavior and actions. Both are in order.

Jewish groups say they feel intimidation on campus. The Register’s Opinion pages have carried letters and columns debating whether UCI has a safe atmosphere for Jewish students, after incendiary words were uttered by some invited Islamist speakers, a Holocaust memorial was defaced and some other incidents. Muslim students were the ones complaining this week, regarding a Bren Events Center program sponsored by UCI Republicans that featured three self-proclaimed former terrorists who denounced Islamic fundamentalism. Reports indicate that security was intense. Continue reading