iFest @ UCI

UCI will be hosting notorious and hateful speakers starting Wednesday with Norm Finkelstein. Which will be followed by ten days of what we casually call hate-week. Partially in response, but also as an affirmation of Jewish identity, Anteaters for Israel has spearheaded a week-long Israel celebration that we are happy to be co-sponsoring. iFest is certainly the largest attempt at UCI to bring a different view of Israel to the campus- and we hope it succeeds in speaking to the majority of students who are uninformed, and uncommitted to the radical Muslim agenda on the campus.

Perhaps the most audacious part of the week will be Thursday night, when an expected 900 people will converge for OASIS – a club night in Garden Grove.
It will be the largest pro-Israel event in OC Jewish Student history by far. Students from all over Socal are expected to this massive Israel party -with Israeli dj’s, complimentary admission drinks, and busing.

Come next week, the mood on campus will change, but we hope that this series of events will garner many more friends for Israel and the Jews on the UCI campus – where we truly believe that the majority of students are sick and tired of 1)their school being used as a recruiting ground for radical Islamic movements, 2) the vilification of Jews and other minorities, and 3) the bullying gangs of MSU students that intimidate dissenters.

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Posted on May 5, 2008, in Campus Life, Cross-posted from Jewlicious.com, Israel, News and politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. To celebrate Israel’s 60 independence day, Elite release their nostalgic chewing gum “Alma” in a collectible tin case. The tin case includes 5 packs of Spearmint flavored chewing gum. Very cool….

    check it out here oe: http://cgi.ebay.com/Israeli-60-Collectible-LTD-Elite-Gum-in-Tin-Case-NR_W0QQitemZ270234500006QQihZ017QQcategoryZ35645QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

  2. I-fest at UCI-with hate fest to follow

    This week, I-Fest, the 60th anniversary of the birth of the state of Israel is being commemorated by the Jewish student group, Anteaters for Israel, Hillel and the Jewish Student Union.

    The tone of the celebration is upbeat, featuring food, music, belly dancing, a Shabbat dinner and nightclub event. The theme of the week is “Peace, Love, Israel”. I witnessed the start of the festivities today, which featured free hamburgers and two belly dancers.

    On a more serious note, David Horowitz will appear on campus May 13th. His topic will be: Campus Support for a New Holocaust. I plan to attend, and will report on the event. It will be interesting to see if Horowitz’s freedom of speech is respected.

    But there will be a skunk at the garden party. The Muslim Student Union is bringing in radical former DePaul University professor, Norman Finklestein to speak against Israel. Then, the following week, all the skunks will arrive, again courtesy of the MSU. As every quarter, radical Oakland Imam, Amir Abdel Malik Ali, will slink onto campus to spew his anti-Semitic venom, talk about destroying Israel and glorify suicide bombers as “heroes”. He will be joined by another radical “religious” figure, Mohammed Al-Asi, who will insult Israel, Israelis and Jews in general. Other leftist professors will join in to tell listeners what an evil country Israel is. It is the same show every quarter from the MSU.

    What I hope will be noted by the various audiences at UCI is the happy, upbeat tone of the I-Fest compared with the hate that will be expressed the following week by the MSU and their speakers.

    Of course, the administration of the university will hide under their desks, “support freedom of speech”, and insist that there is no place for hate speech at UCI-a real contradiction. Chancellor Michael Drake recently told a meeting of Hillel in Washington DC that “there was no room for hate speech at UCI”-even as it happens every quarter. The Dean of Student Affairs, Manuel Gomez, as is his wont, will reject all criticism of MSU speakers as the unfounded allegations of outside groups. (I am not part of an outside group-I have taught part-time at UCI for 10 years. I’ve seen it. I’ve heard it. I know what I am talking about.) And the rest of the faculty, with a handful of exceptions, will remain silent-either out of fear, apathy or sympathy with the enemies of Israel.

    It should be an interesting two weeks.

    Gary Fouse
    adjunct teacher
    uci-ext
    fousesquawk

  3. This week, I was fortunate to be able to hear Nonie Darwish speak at UC-Irvine as part of the week-long celebration of Israel’s 60th birthday. I have previously written about Darwish in my blog (Three Muslim Heretics). Briefly, she was born in Cairo and has lived in Gaza. Her father fought against Israel and was eventually killed by Israeli forces. Thus, she grew up hating everything about the Jewish state and Jews in general. Subsequent to 9-11, she rejected Muslim violence, broke with the religion and has become an active voice against Jihad. She is the author of a book entitled: Now they call me Infidel.

    I wish I could say that there was a big crowd to hear her presentation (which was coupled with a film entitled: The Suicide Killers). However, the turnout was quite small-about 20 or so people-including her bodyguards. I was the only faculty member there.

    Darwish began by describing her early upbringing in the Middle East and her feelings of hatred toward Jews, which she attributed to the death of her father as well as the way Arab youth were educated in Cairo to hate Jews. She also made some important observations about the general outlook on the part of Muslims that we in the West should be aware of. I will mention them below in no particular order.

    The penalty for a Muslim who leaves the religion is death.

    She quoted the part of the Koran that describes when Jews will hide behind trees and rocks and the tree will tell Muslims that there is a Jew hiding behind (the tree)-come and kill him).

    In the Koran, according to Darwish, in 97% of the references to Jihad, it is the context of fighting against non-believers. Only in about 3% of cases is Jihad described as a struggle to be a better person, etc.

    She described how in Israel, Muslims are free to practice their religion freely, unlike in Muslim countries, where a Jew would be killed if he walked down the street wearing a yarmulke or other item that marked him as a Jew.

    She derided Muslim efforts to have American universities and airports install foot baths. In the Middle East, only Saudi Arabia has public foot baths to her knowledge. She also pointed out that many US universities receive funding from Middle Eastern sources such as Saudi Arabia- a nation that promotes Wahhabi teaching among Muslims in the West. (note: At UC-Irvine, the MSU receives funding from the university-taken from student tuition fees.)

    In regards to Saudi Arabia, she recounted how just recently, a top religious leader has issued a Fatwa calling for the murder of two Saudis who had publicly called for moderation within Islam.

    She also spoke of so-called “Honor Killings”, recounting the story of a young maid in her childhood home who had become pregnant as a result of being raped. After Darwish’s family assisted the girl to find refuge with a social services agency, they learned later that the girl had been returned to her family. Her father and her brother then murdered her-for the shame of being raped-in accordance with Shariah law. In Muslim countries, such “honor killings” are treated leniently under the law.

    Perhaps most alarmingly, she warned against creeping Shariah in the West, which would impose Muslim rules within our countries.

    In her mind, there is no real difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

    Darwish noted how America has struggled for many years to overcome our own prejudices and cautioned us against allowing new prejudices to enter our country (i.e.: Muslim prejudice against Jews).

    I am sorry that so few people turned out to hear the words of this courageous woman. As I stated above, I was the only faculty member present (and I am only a part-time teacher at that). In contrast, fired DePaul professor and terrorist sympathizer, Norman Finklestein’s anti-Israel monologue this week was attended by Dean of Students, Sally Peterson, who took copius notes and Dean of Judicial Affairs, Edgar Dormitorio, who tried to get a pro-Israel supporter, Jonathan Constantine, to sit down while he was filming. But they could not bring themselves to hear the words of a woman who has put her life on the line to oppose Muslim terror. Dormitorio, for his part, was pacing outside the hall where Darwish spoke, yet would not come in to hear what she had to say. Why is this? Is it because they were unsympathetic to Ms Darwish’s point of view? Was it because they were afraid to offend the Muslim Student Union? A combination of the two? Ms Darwish’s theme was a rejection of hate. Yet, that was apparently not of interest to those who teach and lead UC-Irvine. They would rather pander to a tiny minority of students who have brought national disrepute to their campus.

    What a collection of empty suits.

    gary fouse
    adjunct teacher
    uci-ext
    fousesquawk

  4. After an upbeat week-long celebration of Israel’s 60th birthday last week, the Muslim Student Union now takes over the stage this week with their usual invited speakers who come and preach hate. Today, I witnessed the speech of Mohammed Al-Asi as he talked for an hour about the “racist, Zionist State of Israel”.

    Let me set the scene for you. The event took place outside near the flagpoles. The Muslim Student Union boys were all decked out in paramilitary-looking olive green T-shirts with Palestinian-type scarves. On the front of the shirts was a tank with some reference to “Resistance”. On the back was a quotation from Martin Luther King (an apostle of non-violence who would never have countenanced terror and suicide bombings.) During the speech, about 5 of them flanked the speaker, trying to look menacing in the fashion of Louis Farrakhan’s Fruit of Islam.

    Meanwhile several of the university deans and their assistant deans hovered around the area making sure bystanders (and Jewish counter-protesters) kept the walkways clear for students. Several Jewish counter-protesters walked around with posters referring to Hate Speech. The ever-vigilant deans,led by Dean of Judicial Affairs, Edgar Dormitorio, tried on several occasions to move them here and there.

    Al-Asi, who is an American-born Arab, was formerly affiliated with the Islamic Center in Washington DC until they apparently cashiered him for his radical preachings. He is an ally of Iran, Hizbollah and Hamas. He advocates the destruction of Israel and removal of Jews from “The Holy Land”. In his past speeches, he has made such statements as, “You can take a Jew out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the Jew”. In his previous speech at UCI, he questioned Jews on why they would want to live in the ghetto of Israel (by building a wall to keep out Palestinian suicide bombers).

    In his speech, Al-Asi took us through his version of the Israel/Palestinian conflict. Of course, he conveniently ignored how Arabs attempted to invade Israel in their unsuccessful wars to wipe out the Jewish state. Also missing was any mention of the terror attacks and the suicide bombings. It was all about how Israel has victimized the Palestinians. Al-Asi basically painted the Arabs as victims who are merely trying to reason with Israel in the interest of fair play.

    Al-Asi is a master of the implication in his speech. He made an ominous reference to the millions of Palestinians, Muslims and others who surround Israel and implied that Israel’s time is running out. His main implication was that Jews must leave the Holy Land-or else(“or else”- my words).

    He also made a slip when he referred to the Oslo Accords, that led to increased hope for Palestinians that never succeeded. He informed us that the principal US negotiator was a “member of the Jewish faith” (a polite way of saying that he was- a JEW). Of course, Mr Al-Asi would insist that he is not anti-Jew, only anti-Zionist.

    After the speech, Al-Asi took a couple of questions from a Jewish student. The first question was whether during the Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem, Jews could pray at Temple Mount. His answer was that he could not speak for Jordan since he was just as opposed to the government of Jordan as he was to Israel (No answer).

    The next question was whether Muslims are allowed to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. His answer was that some were, but it was restricted by the Israelis.

    The last question was from a sympathetic listener who asked why Palestinians had to pay for the crimes that were done to Jews in Europe (the Holocaust).

    The audience? Muslim students, Jewish students and deans- A total of perhaps 100 people. The vast majority of students passed through the area and ignored the whole thing.

    But there was another group of people present. A group of about 30 or so middle school students who had been bussed in for a UCI tour. There they were, gathered by the flagpoles with their bus in the background, listening to the words of hate being preached by Mr Al-Asi. It would have been fitting had Dean Dormitorio and his horseholders taken the pains to move them out of the way of Al-Asi’s poison.

    gary fouse
    adjunct teacher
    uci-ext
    fousesquawk

  5. On Tuesday, the Muslim Student Union continued their anti-Israel week at UC-Irvine. At 12 noon, they opened their program with Jim Lafferty, a lawyer from LA. Lafferty is with the LA chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, a liberal legal activist group. He is also associated with Answer, an anti-war group and KPFK Radio, a far-left radio station in Los Angeles.

    Mr. Lafferty’s theme was, as expected, an indictment of Israel, “an illegal occupier of the Palestinian people’s land”. According to Mr. Lafferty, Israel is a racist, genocidal state (sound familiar?)

    According to Lafferty, Israel was created by the Western powers at the end of World War 2. It was decided to create this state in the Middle East because the West wanted to have a friendly, Western-oriented state there to act as a bulwark in the West’s efforts to obtain Middle East oil. (I guess Mr. Lafferty never considered the fact that we have been buying that oil all this time from countries like Saudi Arabia.)

    He also cautioned the crowd not to believe that the election of Barack Obama would change US policy since Obama “had recently met with American Jewish leaders and assured them of his continuing support for Israel”.

    Not content to bash Israel, Mr. Lafferty also launched into a simultaneous attack on the “imperialistic” US. Throughout his talk, he alternated between references to “racist genocidal” Israel and the “imperialistic” US. Score another one for the MSU in bringing anti-American speakers to campus. (Hopefully, people have noticed a pattern by now.)

    He also took a shot at the Jewish students at UCI (“our Jewish brothers and sisters”), who had set up posters warning of a “Hate Speech zone” prior to hearing what he had to say-even though he proceeded to fulfill the prediction. He also ominously stated that he had just been informed by “student leaders” that there was not a level playing field for groups expressing their views in this area. He implied that his organization (the National Lawyers Guild) might “do something to make sure everyone had a level playing field”, whatever that means. (Maybe his group will file a lawsuit demanding that Jewish students be expelled from UCI.)

    After his talk, a Jewish student asked him how Israel could be genocidal when the Palestinian population has actually increased over the decades. In his answer, Mr. Lafferty “clarified” that by saying he was referring to “genocidal policies” (whatever that means).

    When asked his opinion of a 2-state solution, he opined that it was all up to the Palestinians. He said that usually the ideal solution is for all parties to live together in harmony, but it was all up to the Palestinians. I took that to mean that whether Jews could remain in the region or live in harmony was all up to the Palestinians. I guess if the Palestinians decide to expel the Jews-or worse, that’s their choice, according to Mr. Lafferty.

    Since Lafferty ran out of things to say in 30 minutes, and only a couple of people had questions, Lafferty was followed by an impromptu appearance by Craig and Cindy Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie, an American activist, who was killed when she sat down in front of an Israeli bulldozer as it tried to tear down a house. They were scheduled to make a longer appearance later that evening, but came to the microphone to say a few words. They seem like decent people and did not engage in any harsh rhetoric against Israel or the US. They are, of course, sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and seem interested in peace in the region. It is hard to criticize people in their position. Everyone processes their grief in different ways, and this seems to be the way they are processing theirs. I think they are mistaken in their sympathies and being exploited, but I re-emphasize that, unlike someone like Cindy Sheehan, they don’t seem to have turned against their own country.

    A few other observations:

    Before the program began, I watched a Jewish fellow wearing a yarmulke having a polite debate with 4 or 5 Muslim students. I found that encouraging.

    Less encouraging is the wall that the Muslims have put up as a display. Among other things, there is a quotation by H. Rap Brown, former Black Panther from the 1960s. He is now a converted Muslim. (I forget his Muslim name.) There is, of course, no mention that he is now in prison for the murder of a police officer just a few years back. Then there is a drawing of Ariel Sharon made in the old style of Julius Streicher’s Der Stuermer in the Nazi era, hooked nose, big lips and all. It must be said that these young MSU folks are not very sophisticated in their PR.

    That evening, I attended David Horowitz’s lecture on campus. His speech had been shifted to an out of the way location away from the Student Center. The room had no microphone, and when Horowitz attempted to draw a map of Israel on the whiteboard, he discovered that of the 20 or so markers, none had any ink.

    Without me going into detail, he opened his presentation by stating unequivocally that UCI was absolutely the worst campus in the country when it came to anti-Semitic activity and the administration’s failure to confront it. Two deans were in the audience, Sally Peterson and Edgar Dormitorio, both of whom are antagonistic toward the concerns of UCI’s Jewish students. During the question and answer session, I pointed out to Horowitz that 99% of the students at UCI have nothing to do with the ugliness, but that we had 2 problems: the MSU and the administration, which was “in the tank for the MSU” and was hiding under their desks, either out of fear, apathy or just not caring about their Jewish students. I implored Horowitz to keep the public spotlight on UCI because the public needs to know what is going on our campuses. Horowitz urged me to keep him informed of what is going on. (I will.)

    There are two more days to report on. That is if I don’t get fired today. These academic types have no sense of humor, you know.

    gary fouse
    fousesquawk

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