Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pro-Palestinians Mar I-Fest at UC Irvine

Today, Anteaters for Israel (AFI) held their annual I-Fest event at UC Irvine. It was a simple collection of tables with information about Israel and free food. The previous evening, AFI held a dignified tribute and candle vigil for the IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians killed by terrorists over the years.

Things were going along very nicely until 12 noon when pro-Palestinian protesters came marching out of the Cross Cultural Center (more about that later) located directly behind the I-Fest tables. They proceeded to march to a spot a few yards away from the AFI tables where they spread out across Ring Road, forcing other students to have to walk around their lines. They then began chanting their usual stupid slogans about Palestine. They continued for over two hours drowning out the AFI music and distracting all the attention away from the I-Fest proceedings. Several Jewish community members began waving their American and Israeli flags. (The pro-Palestinian crowd only had Palestinian flags.) At one point, some Jewish folks began doing their traditional dances in response to the protesters.

The campus police were present as was the dean of students. Later the vice chancellor of student affairs showed up. When they were finished with their protest, which outlasted the remainder of the I-Fest, the  protesters straggled  back to the Cross Cultural Center (their "safe space"). They had disrupted and marred what had been for the first hour a pleasant, quiet and civilized event.

But not all of my criticism is directed at the pro-Palestinian protesters.

First of all, AFI put on this production without any financial support from Hillel or the Jewish Federation of Orange County. That didn't stop the heads of those two useless organizations, (Lisa Armony and Shalom Elcott respectively) from showing up for whatever reason is lost on me. But it got worse.

Shame on Armony for trying to direct members of the community holding Israeli and US flags to move back as they were facing the protesters. (Yeah, I saw that, Lisa.)

But worse yet, shame on Elcott for berating the head of AFI, a tiny little female student, who was left shaken after Elcott got in her face and blamed her for everything going wrong.

And shame on the Cross Cultural Center. This is the second year that the anti-I-Fest protesters have staged in the CCC and marched out to disrupt this event. In fact, for years the Muslim Student Union has used the CCC as their staging area. As far as I am concerned, the CCC has put its imprimatur on disrupting Jewish events at UCI. It is disgraceful and the administration must be held responsible for letting it occur.

And shame on whoever that Jewish woman was who said that the people holding US and Israeli flags should put them away because they were inflaming the other side.

It was not a pleasant day, but I do think it gave another black eye to the pro-Palestinian crowd. That is a good thing.

Here are the videos I took. The third video begins with the protesters coming out of the Cross Cultural Center. I had to leave to teach a class before the end of the event.


Squid said...

As expected, like the rising and setting of the Sun, the Muslim Brotherhood-MSU/A put themselves in a position of disrupting anything pro-Israel. This also pure Islamist anti-Semitism. After all, it is written that Islam destroys anything that has to do with the Jews. For them, this is the way to blessings.
As far as the UCI Administration, a simple policy that any demonstration on the UCI campus must be authorized and planned for by a mutual agreement/contract by both parties. This can be justified on the basis of safety and security on campus. This way, the campus police can act to prevent potential violence. Easy! But it appears that this is too difficult for the highly paid UCI Administrators to figure out.
As far as Hillel and the AFI, one wonders what back door meetings and deals have got down between them and the UCI Administration. The next meeting for them will be to figure out how to silence the I-Fest people so they do not upset the Muslim Brotherhood-UCI/MSU.


Unknown said...

From the river to the sea, Cll for genocide against Jews. Islamo-Nazis never tire of it.

Anonymous said...

Don't agree with this completely. I am from the Irvine area and was at the students' event this year and in previous. The ifest this year was beautiful and so happy! Much better organized than before and more people attended. Great event!