UCI Muslim Student Union Event Draws Ire of Local Jews
As this promotional video shows, UC Irvine's Muslim Student Union is at it again, presenting 18 days of events this month under the banner "Israel: the Politics of Genocide."
Among those coming to the campus through May 21 are: George Galloway, the British member of Parliament who speaks against the occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine; Cynthia McKinney, the former Georgia congresswoman and 2008 Green Party presidential nominee who is part of the Free Gaza Movement; Anna Baltzer, the Jewish American graduate of Columbia University who went to Israel and had her eyes opened about the oppression against Palestinians there; Amir Abdel Malik Ali, a black Imam from Oakland frequently condemned by Jews for allegedly engaging in hate speech; and Gideon Levy, the Israeli Ha'aretz journalist and former Shimon Peres spokesman who has accused his nation of "moral blindness" for its acts of war and occupations of Gaza and the West Bank.
Co-sponsors include Afrikan Student Union, the Armenian fraternity Alpha Epsilon Omega, Armenian Student Association, Asian Pacific Student Association, Hindu Student Council, Hip Hop Congress, Pakistani Student Association, Society of Arab Students, Sikh Student Association, The Agora, Radical Student Union, Vietnamese Action Committee, Young Americans for Liberty and Workers Student Alliance.
Needless to say, campus watchers of the Jewish persuasion are not exactly thrilled.
Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, who has been a rabbi at UCI for five years, titled his Jewilicious post "The Intifada Continues at UC Irvine." "The USA campus with an active Jihad / Intifada against Israel, Jews, Western-style democracy continues," he writes below his link to the MSU "teaser-trailer." "There are some similarities to the style of the Jihad Films on YouTube that promote terror and violence. What was just one week is now over two weeks long."
The gathering has even caught the eye of FresnoZionism.org, which blogs that since the MSU "explicitly supports Hamas" and Hamas is fervently devoted to the destruction of the Jewish state, then MSU wants Israel wiped off the map as well. "The event is called 'Israel: the Politics of Genocide,' which is actually quite accurate if you think about the goals of the terror organizations supported by the MSU."
Yonah, who complains that Irvine's Jewish community and Orange County Jewish Federation located in that city "seem unwilling to do much to stop" the MSU, accused the university and Chancellor Michael Drake "in particular" with enabling what he labeled a hate event. "This groups [sic] needs to be banned from campus. That will do a lot to stop the Intifidah at UCI."
But a blogger named Dajjal who claimed to be sympathetic to those feelings found the anti-MSU tactics misguided in a post titled "Political Correctness: Double-Edged Sword": "I believe that universities should be bastions of free speech and open debate, where all viewpoints can be aired, supported and opposed without fear or favor," Dajjal writes. "Neither censorship, intimidation nor physical assault should be allowed on campus."
Noting that the Terrorism Awareness Project sponsors an annual "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week," Dajjal adds, "When deceptive propaganda is promulgated, it should be identified as such and refuted with relevant, verifiable facts. If bigots are invited to spew hatred on campus, their visits should be proceeded by exposure of their curriculum vitae including previous false or hateful expressions. Let debate be open, vitae and voluminous."
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