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Dear Editor,

I am the Associate Director of the American Jewish Congress in Los Angeles. I spent three days at UC Irvine to witness the hate speech and gross misrepresentations of Jews, Israeli's Americans and Zionists at the "Holocaust in the Holyland' week. I listened to the horrific lies of Norman Finkelstein under the guise of him being historian. I heard Malik Ali talk about extermination of Jews in Israel, short of saying kill, he used terms like "eliminate" when discussing Israel. I was followed by the campus police, and watched by the administration, so that I could not openly talk out, or disagee with a blatant lies made about history, or Jews. At the end of Malik Ali's hate speech, I finally had enough, and trying to get him to publically say it was about "the Jews" and not "those people" I was shouted down by repeated "Allah Akbars" and laughter. I understood that day,standing alone what it felt like to be a Jew in pre war Germany. I understood how fearful the hostages in Iran must have felt when the US Embassy was taken over. And I understand the double standards that occur when it comes to the UCI administration in taking a postion to facilitate peaceful diaglogue. I witnessed the supression of my freedom of speech for three days, until the very end when I could no longer stay silent.

I listened to three long tedious hours of Norman Finkelstein, who mocks the Holocaust Business, however has made a living on …guess what, The Holocaust business! His denial of the true implications of mass murder committed by the Nazi's is overshadowed by his hatared of being a Jew himself. I heard about "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide" however, no one could answer why the Palestinian population has quadrupled since 1948.

I heard statements like "Zionism is not Judaism" by "Rabbi's" from Nutrei Karta who get paid to say what they do by the Saudi government after the death of their buddy Yassar Arafat. They recently met with Iran's leader (go to http://www.memri.org/ to see the clip) and called for the end to the Jewish State and Zionism. Just think, the MSU found a "sect" of Jews who number about 2000 more or less, to speak the "truth" for over 15,000,000 people.

There will always be useful idiots to speak for the enemy, and the MSU has found a coterie that they parade around from campus to campus, with the same tired speechs from last year. In fact, I can even quote Finkelstein's speech verbatum. You would think that for the $5,000.00 fee , hotel, food and airfare, that Norman could at least come up with another speeech, leaving out the "Ma, I found it I found it" lines in reference to his finding flaws with Joan Peters book "In Time Immorial". This speech is neither cute or funny. It is just feeding fuel to a crowd thirsty to hear a Jew talking about Jews in ways which they cannot.

As for Malik ALi, I just wonder what the University would do, if I substituted the words "Jew" and "Zionist" for "black" and "colored". I would be attacked, called a racist, and the NAACP and ACLU would be all over me. However, it is "de riguer" to say outwardly things about Jews that were once said in private. I find the use of the freedoms of a democracy based on Judeo Christian values to perpetrate hatred under the guise of freedom… absurd.
I was with an associate and after I was escorted from the area behind the "apartheid wall" to sing with the supporters of Israel, we chatted with one of the campus police. My friend asked if this was a rough event to cover, as it was contentious and very hostile. The campus officer said, "Protecting the MSU is easier than than the Campus Republicans". How very sad. Conservatives on this campus are treated with more hatred than students who wear Kyffia's and support Iran and it's daily calls to eliminate not only Israel, but the United States of America.

I wonder who these student's loyalty belongs to. Iran? Syria? North Korea? Is this the new radical chic?
I have covered events at Rutgers, Georgetown, UCLA, and other venues. I have covered rally's, and meetings where we were searched for recorders, and questioned as to where we fall on the political scale. I have spoken in Amsterdam about anti Semitism and anti Zionism at the Magenta Conference to present resolutions regarding hate speech to the OSCE. However, never in all my years of listening to the same blood libel and false history have I been more rattled than by this event last week. I actually broke down and cried like a child. I sobbed, and felt that we are not only lettings the values of civil behavior disappear, we have lost any moral clarity as to the value of our use of the first amendment. We have allowed our loss of values of manners, gentility, and useful dialogue t promote hatred and intolerance.

Not once during this trying week did I hear one speaker offer any solutions for hope and peace. Not once did I hear any rational dialogue between a supporter of HAMAS and a Zionist sit down, and discuss what could be done to make this a better world for all of us to live in. Not once did I hear any members of the UCI administration pull a MSU member aside, and ask for a toning down of the filth that was broadcast on the speakers in the quad. The game of not letting signs from the oppostion stand with sign holders who support the MSU becasue a dance of the absurd. This was finally stopped by an administrator who did, in all fairness, tell the MSU students that they had to allow counter protests.

Intimidation by the constant use of video cameras taking picture and close ups of the faces of the "zionists" can be unnerving for first timers at a protest like this. In fact, many students said they do not participate in counter protests, as they fear that their photos will be remembered and that they will suffer in the future on the campus by members of the MSU. While taking videos 12 inches from my face, is not an abuse of my civil rights, it is an abuse of civility. Pleas to stop, or hiding behind a poste does not stop the constant monitoring of who you are, and and what you say.
The fence was also a prop to intimidate. It not only blocked most of the patway, however fitting to the inch the allowable length, it created a hostile enviorment, not only for the Jewish kids, but all the other students who were either inconvienced, or witness to photos of dead bodies, blood, and quotes taken out of context by the founders of the Zionist movement. What would the university do the KKK set up a mock up of a road, with James Byrds head bobbing behind a car. Would the administration allow this too? Would they be getting a call from Jesse Jackson, and would this gross display be removed? Would they allow the KKK members to wear scarves that showed lynchings on them?

I understand the term "Shehada" and its mutliple meanings, however in light of beheadings, suicide bombers, and Mujahadin, this shows a lack of respect for the victims of terrorism. However, that issue is moot for the Muslim Student Union.

I am saddened not only by the lack of historical context, education and truth that these students have especially in light of their being students at a very prestigious university. I am saddened by the loss of innocence, the lack of respect, and the fall, as they say, of western civilization.
I hold the administration of this University responsible, especially Manuel Gomez, Sally Peterson and the new Chancellor. After repeated attempts to make our position heard, clearly it was just a token to listen to us, appeasement, and a lack of respect for Jews and Israeli's worldwide. Their lack of actions spoke louder than the amplified "Allah Akbars" and their support of hate is something I never learned in History 101. Shame on the University, and shame on the parents and religious centers that preach hate and death. And to top this off, we get to see the Green HAMAS shehada scarfs all over again at graduation. I guess after all these years, we have truly neither made any movement towards peace, reconcillation, and respect for others who may not share the same values. This is truly very very sad.

Allyson Rowen Taylor
Associate Director, American Jewish Congress, Western Region

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  1. […] seems to be willing to speak to some groups for honorariums of several hundred dollars, the AJC has claimed that when he came to speak at UC Irvine, his fee was $5000 plus expenses. Needless to say, even with […]

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