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Liberal groupthink causes conservatives to self-censor

By CHUCK DEVORE
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The ideal academic environment on a college campus is one that encourages vigorous debate and builds reasoning skills, all while the student is learning in his or her area of study.

Unfortunately, universities too often fall short in the first two categories.

For at least six years now, the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine has made a habit of inviting inflammatory speakers on campus. One speaker declared, “We will bury you in the sand,” while implying death to either a nation (Israel) or a group of people (Jews). While another said, “You can take the Jew out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the Jew,” when explaining why he believes Jews have a social pathology that makes it impossible for them to live in peace with anyone else.

Such comments elicited not a peep from a university faculty presumably too concerned with tolerance to criticize speech that crossed the line from commentary to hate. What might make the professionals at UCI reluctant to speak up against hate speech? Imagine the uproar if former klansman David Duke showed up at UCI and said, “You can take the Jew out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the Jew” or if Duke referred to African Americans when saying, “We will bury you?”

A study of almost 1,300 academics from more than 700 colleges and universities by Gary A. Tobin, Ph.D., and Aryeh K. Weinberg show an American faculty that is overwhelmingly liberal in the key areas of the humanities and the social sciences — two fields with tremendous influence, as all students, even science and business students, have to take some liberal arts courses to graduate. Further, professors from the humanities and the social sciences are those whose area of expertise is politics and social commentary.

Tobin and Weinberg’s 2006 survey, “Political Beliefs and Behavior of College Faculty,” showed that 58% of humanities faculty believe that U.S. policies in the Middle East have created the problems we face in the region. Similarly, 56% of humanities professors see the U.S. and Israel as the greatest threat to world peace, while only 41% name China, Russia, and Iran combined.

Further, social science faculty voted for John Kerry over President Bush in 2004 by more than a four-to-one ratio while five times as many humanities professors preferred Kerry over Bush. This has led to liberal groupthink, causing the few conservative professors to engage in self-censorship as a survival mechanism.

For these reasons, condemning hate speech by Muslim Student Union speakers may be too much to expect from a faculty who likely sees Middle Eastern Arabs as victims of the West. Rather, a modest step would be to prohibit the student union and any other group from banning the audio or video recording of events so that all campus speech can be heard and commented on freely. Knowing that their words may come back to haunt them may even make a few hate speakers think twice before spewing.

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.

Several hundred Jewish students and leaders met Wednesday night with UCI Chancellor Michael V. Drake. “We promote dialogue, understanding, growth and tolerance at UCI,” he said, according to a Register report. “We have 1,000 guest speakers on campus every year. Could I evaluate them and say this one is anti-Semitic? I could not. What I could say is that as a person and a campus, we abhor hate speech, period.”

We applaud the chancellor’s unwillingness to abridge free speech. We believe that debate – even angry, tense debate – can be a good thing. Once you get into the business of outlawing “hate speech,” then that stifles freedom and allows officials to depict any words they don’t like as “hate.” Still, the administration needs to do more as the situation continues to affect campus life on a wider scale. Think about it – parents of students and potential students are beginning to develop a generalized fear about UCI. People on campus regularly tell us the tension is growing, and is not just periodic.

It’s the role of the school administration to draw distinctions between speech and actions, and to set some standards of behavior at meetings, in the classroom, in the dorms.

Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, has been actively monitoring the situation at UCI. He attended a recent speech by one invitee of the Muslim Students Union, where he tried to openly videotape the event despite a UCI policy allowing the student group to forbid such taping. In a letter sent to the chancellor this week, Mr. DeVore wrote, “Hate speech is, of course, protected under the First Amendment. That said, it is incumbent on community leaders, including leaders of the academic community, to criticize or condemn hate speech as it happens because such speech can easily lead to acts of violence.”

If the chancellor is unwilling to do that, Mr. DeVore argues, then he should at least eliminate the campus policy – specific to UCI but not other UC campuses – that allows student groups to ban the recording of public events. Perhaps if these speakers knew that their speeches could be viewed on YouTube.com, he reasons, they might be more inclined to engage in civil debate rather than angry diatribes.

Not a bad idea, and one of a number that should be considered as a fuller, deeper response to what is happening on campus. Speech should be open on college campuses, but such speech should also be freely disseminated, discussed and criticized – without fear.

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UCI chief meets with Jewish groups

Chancellor encourages community involvement against incidents of perceived hate speech on campus.

By JORGE BARRIENTOS

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

IRVINE – UC Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake told several hundred concerned Jewish community members Wednesday night to join in on discussions and work together against what he calls isolated incidents of anti-Jewish speech by outsiders on campus.

Drake answered questions during a 90-minute town hall meeting at Shir Ha-Ma’alot in Irvine addressing concerns about what the Jewish community calls ongoing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity on UCI’s campus.

“We promote dialogue, understanding, growth and tolerance at UCI,” Drake said. “I’d like to enlist all of you in working with me to make Jewish life on campus as strong as possible.”

The meeting comes after a February decision by the Hillel Foundation of Orange County, a Jewish group, to form a task force to investigate what it called “a growing number of anti-Semitic incidents” at UC Irvine.

Drake, who maintained throughout the night that presentations on campus sponsored by Muslim student groups constituted free speech, was invited by several Orange County Jewish groups.

Here are a few questions, with responses by Drake:

Why is it that you personally don’t exercise your right to free speech and speak directly to statements made on campus?

“We have 1,000 guest speakers on campus every year. Could I evaluate them and say this one is anti-Semitic? I could not. What I could say is that as a person and a campus, we abhor hate speech, period.”

Right now, my kids don’t want to go to your school. With the activity on campus, why should my kids go to your school?

“It’s an outstanding educational institutional. If you talk to our students, they will tell you how much they love their experience here. (These incidents) are not every other day. It’s a couple of times a year. And they’re from people coming from off campus. It just got more media attention.”

Is there a place on campus that does not tolerate anti-group speech on campus?

“There are 26,000 students on campus. I want every student on campus to know that this is their home. I want them to feel secure, and feel that is their home.”

Contact the writer: jbarrientos@ocregister.com or 949-553-2913

Dissecting the Jewish Federation of Orange County’s letter about UCI:

Over the past two and a half weeks, there has been a great deal of anti-Israel/anti-Semitic activity on the UCI campus which has resulted in numerous calls and emails to the Federation.

All of this was predicted and the same as year’s past – just worse.

Hopefully you have received the invitation for the Town Hall Meeting with UCI Chancellor Michael Drake this coming Wednesday, May 30th at 7:00 P.M. at Congregation Shir Ha Ma’alot in Irvine.

Why not at the JCC? or Tarbut? Why a Synagogue?

These activities included former President Jimmy Carter speaking on campus as well as the Muslim Student Union’s “Holocaust Remembrance” week (where their goal was to belittle the importance of the actual Holocaust), and their annual anti-Israel week – this year titled “Israel: Apartheid Resurrected.” As in the past, the week was filled with vitriolic speakers who came with a message of hate that was spread through half-truths, manipulations, and out-right lies, as well as their rendition of the “apartheid wall” – which stood about 40’ long and 15’ high and was filled with graphic pictures, statements, and lies.

The wall was fifty feet long. The events were more than just bad speeches. There was thuggery, blood libel symbolism, Jews called Nazis and more.

Over this time, most Jewish students avoided the area where the MSU was holding its events. WHAT PROOF DO YOU HAVE OF THIS?

And for those students who did come by, many of them felt their tensions and anxieties rise. Throughout the week, there were several minor incidences involving alleged harassment and misconduct towards the Jewish students.

WHO IS WRITING THIS? THE PRESS OR THE HEAD OF THE FEDERATION? TAKE A STAND AND CHOOSE SIDES!
All students were encouraged to inform the university as well as to file formal complaints. In addition, ADL, Jewish Federation, and Hillel leaders were present throughout the week; interacting with the administration and campus police officials, supporting the students, and speaking with reporters.

Yes you were there and doing nothing. We dragged you over to sing with the students. How can you be the leader of the Jewish community without leading? What in the world is interacting? is that like talking with them? How were you supporting students? Provide specifics please. Reporters??? Oh, so you get to speak to reporters about how you are interacting with the administration and meanwhile they are saying that Jews are Nazis and you are passive.

During the course of those two weeks, the Jewish and pro-Israel students continued their quarter long “got peace? got Israel” campaign which focused on the diversity, democracy, rights, and freedoms within Israel. The campaign which started at the beginning of the quarter with ads in the papers such as “got diversity?” “got democracy?” culminated in a week geared at educating the campus about Israel, what the country stands for, and its universal desire for peace. Students were given “got peace? got Israel” shirts and there was food and entertainment the entire week. In addition, students handed out information specifically about the speakers and refuting the blatant misrepresentations and horrific pictures and images depicted on the “apartheid wall”.

got peace got Israel is a waste of money. A poor excuse for a response.

In the months and weeks leading up to these events, Hillel and Federation leadership have been meeting with UCI administration, faculty and students to determine the best course of action to take under these difficult circumstances. We have worked together with the AJC and ADL and with many concerned community members so that our voices could be heard clearly and concisely.

It is in that spirit, UCI Chancellor Michael Drake has agreed to meet in an open town hall format to address our community concerns directly. Over 300 people have already RSVP’d for the town hall meeting. If you are concerned as we are about these events, we encourage you to RSVP immediately and be part of the conversation. You can reserve a seat by sending an email to Adrienne@jfoc.org or by calling 949-435-3484 or 714-755-5555, ext. 344.

The challenges ahead will be difficult but we must continue to act as a community and do everything possible to continue to build Jewish identity on campus and ensure a safe and peaceful environment for all students.

We hope to see you next Wednesday evening!

Shabbat Shalom,

Shalom C. Elcott

Chief Executive Officer

Jewish Federation Orange County

UC Irvine MSU Accosts FBI, Demands Explanation

Here’s an update on the story of the FBI agent at UC Irvine, who was accosted by Muslim students and possibly assaulted with a cinderblock (although everyone’s being very vague about that little detail); the agent actually sounded his siren and used the car’s PA system to warn the students who surrounded his car in a dead end street: FBI: agent was investigating vehicle when confronted by student.

It’s astounding that the FBI let these students get away with this outrageous behavior. Maybe it’s a result of all those CAIR-sponsored sensitivity training sessions.

An FBI agent confronted by a Muslim student at the University of California, Irvine, earlier this month was trying to get a closer look at a “suspicious” truck at the time, federal authorities said Sunday.

The agent had followed the truck to the campus from a separate location as part of an investigation that was unrelated to the school or student activities, bureau spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. “The investigation the agents were engaged in had nothing to do with the UCI campus or student activities there,” she said. [Why not? Monitoring the activities of radical Islamic front groups is exactly what the FBI ought to be doing. —ed.]

The FBI’s response comes after a Muslim student said an agent bumped him with his car near the site of an anti-Israel protest on May 14. Yasser Ahmed, 21, said he noticed he was being followed by a car with blackened windows as he drove a 24-foot moving van on campus to pick up an exhibit, sponsored by the Muslim Student Union, that protested Israel policies in Palestine. [Unbelievable. Speakers called Jews “Nazis,” called for jihad and martyrdom, and spread sick antisemitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial—and Bakersfield.com calls it “protesting Israel policies” in a nonexistent country. Could they possibly be any more biased and misleading? —ed.]

After he got out of the truck and asked the driver to identify himself, he claimed the driver then revved the engine and began pushing Ahmed back with the front bumper before driving off. …

The FBI said the incident occurrent on a dead-end street after a group of people surrounded the car of one agent.

“The agent blew his siren and used the cars PA system to warn” the group, the bureau said in a statement. “At that point, it was clear that this was a law enforcement vehicle. At least one person threw or placed a cinder block under the law enforcement vehicle.”

From LGF

UCI Intifada: Preaching Terror on Campus

  • Yesterday, I visited the Crystal Cove Auditorium at UCI to hear Amir Abdel Malik Ali, a radical Islamic activist sponsored by UCI’s Muslim Student Union. As soon as I arrived I could hear his typical racist vitriol on how the Jewish people are the greatest threat to civilization; the same sentiment I had heard months earlier when I heard him at the front of the flag polls praising Hezbollah’s war of attrition against
    Israel. This time it was different. As soon as I took my seat, with Sony camcorder in hand, many members of the audience gave me the stare of death. One guy sitting next to me told me to put my camera away. “The speaker doesn’t want to be audio or video recorded, he said. I refused. So a band of thugs from the Muslim Student Union started to flood the aisles, blocked my camera view, and threatened to get the police If I didn’t stop recording. The police never came. From talks with them afterward, they seemed unsympathetic to Mr. Ali and his army of spawns. Dean Edgar J. Dormitorio, in charge of security at the event, finally told me to go. So I succumbed to his wishes.
  • The intimidation didn’t stop there. Members of the Muslim Student Union tracked my movements as I walked across the 1500 acre campus and stalked me to my next class. As soon as I sit down, I received similar stares. A man comes in class with his little sister, who I assume attended the Holocaust revival speech with him, and snaps a picture of me.
  • Why did the MSU’s thugs shove and demand that I empty the footage from my camera? We have all heard Mr. Ali preach hate before, what was different about this time? If they sponsor men like Mr. Ali, why are they so paranoid and embarrassed about what he has to say?
  • In the spirit of full dislosure, here is some raw footage of my struggle to capture the speech before I was forced to shut the camera off.


Rabbi Yonah Clowns with Neturei Karta at UC Irvine

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American Idol Jihad Edition

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