Editor’s note: The David Horowitz Freedom Center today announced the University of California-Irvine as the second school named in its new report on the “Top Ten Worst Schools that Support Terrorists.” It joins its sister school, the University of California-Berkeley, on the list. Coinciding with the naming of UC-Irvine to this list, the Freedom Center placed posters on Irvine’s campus exposing the links between Students for Justice in Palestine and the terrorist organization Hamas, whose stated goal is the destruction of the Jewish state.
As revealed in recent congressional testimony, Students for Justice in Palestine is a campus front for Hamas terrorists. SJP’s propaganda activities are orchestrated and funded by a Hamas front group, American Muslims for Palestine, whose chairman is Hatem Bazian and whose principals are former officers of the Holy Land Foundation and other Islamic “charities” previously convicted of funneling money to Hamas. The report and posters are part of a larger Freedom Center campaign titled Stop University Support for Terrorists. Images of the posters that appeared at UC-Berkeley may be viewed at www.stopuniversitysupportforterrorists.org.
University of California-Irvine
Over the past decade, the University of California Irvine has earned a well-deserved reputation as a base for supporters of anti-Israel terrorism and hostility towards Jews. At several events over the past few years, members of UCI SJP have entirely disrupted pro-Israel events, chanting slogans promoting terrorism such as “Intifada, Intifada/long live the Intifada” and “when people are occupied/resistance is justified,” forcing Jewish students to disperse under the watch of campus police. Irvine hosts an annual Israeli Apartheid Week which has been variously called “Anti-Zionism Week” and “Resisting Zionism Week.” A mock “apartheid wall” displayed during the week has glorified convicted hijacker Leila Khaled a member of the murderous terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and also depicted a map of Israel with the entire nation labeled as “occupied territory.” It has also contained incitements to terrorism such as the statement “When people are occupied, resistance is justified.”
Speakers invited to Irvine by the campus chapter of the Muslim Student Union include BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti and infamous terrorist-supporting anti-Semite, Amir Abdel Malik Ali, who has openly stated his allegiance to Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad. Irvine’s student senate was one of the first in the nation to pass a resolution in support of the Hamas-backed and funded BDS campaign against Israel. Irvine students even met with a prominent Hamas leader during a secret trip to the Middle East in 2009.
An event hosted by UCI’s chapter of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) featuring a panel of Israeli Defense Reservists in May 2017 was disrupted by a contingent of approximately 40 protestors from UCI SJP—some clothed in t-shirts stating “UC Intifada,” a call to terrorist violence—who shouted slogans urging violence and the destruction of the Jewish state. SJP’s chants included: “Israel, Israel what do you say, how many kids have you killed today?” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” A woman identified as a former president of SJP yelled, “These people are occupiers, they’re colonizers; you should not be allowed on our f–ing campus!” The head of SSI also reported that assistance from campus police was inadequate. Despite every expectation that SJP would attempt to disrupt the event, campus police showed up late and then proceeded to lead the Israel supporters out through a crowd of protestors, increasing the risk of attack against them. The next day, one of SJP’s student leaders bragged that the organization had gone “to disrupt the event” in order “to let them (the panelists) know that we refuse to allow the normalization of their presence here.”
In May 2017, UCI SJP held “Anti-Zionism Week 2017: On This Land.” The week included the erection of a mock “apartheid wall” threatening terrorist violence against Israel. Panels included in the wall declared “When people are occupied, resistance is justified” and the quote “The colonizer brings pure violence in the homes and minds of the colonized.” Other panels advocated for the Hamas-backed BDS movement against Israel and accused Israel of genocide.
An anti-Trump rally held on campus in January 2017 morphed into a denial of Jewish self-determination when a student speaker declared to the crowd, “I want you guys to be about anti-Islamophobia; I want you guys to be anti-Zionism; and I want you guys to be anti-Israel because Trump didn’t come up with these things on his own, he got the idea of the wall from Israel.” The student then led the crowd in a chant of, “from Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go.”
On May 18, 2016, Irvine SJP succeeded in disrupting a pro-Israel film screening that was co-sponsored by the campus chapters of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) and Hillel. SSI reported on its Facebook page that, “Tonight one of our events was disrupted by certain student organizations. They were in violation of UC Regents Hate Speech policy and were shouting various anti-Semitic statements. The police had to escort attendees out of the event for their own safety.” Video of the event reveals students shouting their support for anti-Israel terrorism, screaming “Intifada, Intifada/long live the Intifada,” “displacing people since ‘48/there’s nothing here to celebrate!” and “when people are occupied/resistance is justified.” Following this event, UCI SJP was put on probation until March 2017.
During May 2-5, 2016, Irvine’s chapters of SJP and the Muslim Students Association (MSA) collaborated with other student groups to hold an “Anti-Zionist Week” on campus. The week featured a huge mock “apartheid wall” which celebrated anti-Israel terrorism in multiple panels. One panel depicted an image of convicted hijacker Leila Khaled holding a gun with the slogan “Women Leading Resistance” below it. “Resistance” is a euphemism for anti-Israel terrorism. Another segment of the wall repeats the slogan, “Resistance is justified when people are occupied.” Another segment depicted a map of Israel with the entire nation labeled as “occupied territory,” an allusion to Hamas’s genocidal goal to rid Israel of its Jews. The wall also endorsed the Hamas-inspired Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel.
In addition to the apartheid wall, Irvine’s anti-Zionist week featured a mock funeral procession for a Palestinian “martyr.” One of the students participating in the funeral procession held a sign proclaiming “Long Live the Intifada.” Another event featured a speech by anti-Israel Rabbi YisroelDovid Weiss who comes from a fringe Jewish sect. During his address, Weiss resorted to anti-Semitic caricatures, claiming that Zionism is “a Madoff scheme” and Zionists use their “billions and billions of dollars” to intimidate “the media” and “any politician who dares …to show too much sympathy for the Palestinian cause.” He also claimed that “newspapers are conglomerates that are owned or controlled by Zionist organizations.”
On February 19, 2016, SJP held an event titled “Unlearning Zionism: A Workshop and Discussion” with the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. The Facebook page for the event featured side-by-side photos labeled “Warsaw 1944” (an image of the Warsaw ghetto) with “Gaza 2009,” implying an equivalence between the Holocaust and the treatment of Palestinians.
On October 12, 2015, an event featuring former Israeli Chief Justice Aharon Barak at Irvine was interrupted by 20-30 anti-Israel protestors, forcing police to interrupt the event and escort Barak and the other attendees out of the event.
During May 4-7, 2015, UC Irvine’s Muslim Student Union staged an “Anti-Zionism Week” on campus. As part of the week’s activities, SJP and MSU sold T-shirts emblazoned with “UC Intifada,” openly stating their allegiance to Jew-killing terrorists. The back of the T-shirt read “End Settler Colonialism” (a core Hamas fiction) and depicted a genocidal Hamas map which falsely alleged that an Arab nation called “Palestine” existed in 1947 and was over-run by Jews.
On April 23, 2015, a pro-Israel festival held by Anteaters for Israel (“Anteaters” is the school team name) was disrupted by anti-Israel protestors, who used their bodies and large signs to block a walkway and loudly chanted pro-terrorist slogans such as “Resistance is justified when people are occupied,” an attempt to whitewash terrorism.
In March 2015, UC-Irvine professor Rei Terada was among the signatories of an op-ed appearing in the Daily Californian urging the administrators of the UC system to support the Hamas-sponsored BDS Movement boycott of Israel.
In December 2014, UC Irvine SJP held an event in defense of terrorist RasmeahOdeh, with law professor Marjorie Cohn, calling Odeh “our comrade and sister.” Odeh was convicted by an Israeli military court in 1970 for her involvement in a supermarket bombing which killed two Jewish students: “Join us as we host Marjorie Cohn, Professor of Law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former President of the National Lawyer’s [sic] Guild and current Deputy Secretary of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers as she discusses the implications of the U.S.’s targeting of our comrade and sister, RasmeaOdeh. Ms. Cohn recently authored an article titled, “US Leaders Aid and Abet Israeli War Crimes, Genocide & Crimes Against Humanity.”
In July 2014, UC Irvine SJP shared on its Facebook page the following statement about Israel’s belated response to the unprovoked firing of thousands of Hamas rockets into Israel’s civilian areas (Israel’s response was called “Operation Protective Edge”): “Israel’s war on Gaza is not an attempt to strike back at Hamas, nor was it in the 2008 war on Gaza or the previous wars it has waged against Palestinians. This is an attempt to murder as many Palestinians as they can before they decide to stop. If you are shocked that Israel is killing Palestinian women and children do not be, this is their intention and the principle on which their state was created. Every couple of years Israel wages a war on defenseless populations in their quest to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people. Remember, even if the current war stops, they will come back to kill more Palestinians in the future. Do not get comfortable today, and do not ignore Palestine tomorrow. Continue to spread awareness about what is happening. It should not take more than 150 lives for us to wake up and decide to care. Palestine is under occupation all day, every day. May we all see a free Palestine. #gazaunderattack#FreePalestine”The SJP statement parroted Hamas’s war propaganda that “Operation Protective Edge” was an aggressive initiative to indiscriminately murder Palestinians.
In June 2014, UC Irvine SJP posted a statement on Operation Protective Edge, repeating Hamas lies and defending its war crimes: “718 People. 718 Palestinians. Israel is massacring Palestinians on such a mass scale, it’s a wonder why no media outlet is stating that they are targeting civilians. The lives taken speak louder than Israel propaganda.” Hamas deliberately locates its rocket launchers in civilian neighborhoods which accounts for the civilian casualties when Israel attempts to eliminate the Hamas rocket threat. SJP parrots this cynical propaganda as a loyal and uncritical ally of Hamas terrorism. UC Irvine SJP also shared a post from Holocaust-denying former professor Norman Finkelstein commenting on Operation Protective Edge and listing “the names of Palestinians that Israel has murdered.
On May 6, 2014, UC Irvine SJP crashed a pro-Israel demonstration called “IFest” with a large sign stating, “End Apartheid.” A group of SJP and MSU members pushed through a gathering of pro-Israel students to intimidate them, causing injuries to some. One student was reportedly grabbed and deliberately pushed to the ground and left with scratches and bruises. SJP proudly showcased the demonstration on their Facebook page: “This is how we welcomed Ifest (Israeli Fest) today. This is how we remember; Israel’s Independence day is our catastrophe. #IsrealiIndependenceEqualsGenocide#FreePalestine”
On November 12, 2013, UC Irvine SJP hosted an event with anti-Israel activist Ben White, author of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guideand co-author of Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy. White’s talk was titled “Israel: Apartheid, Not Democracy.” White has defended Hamas’ attempts to kill Israeli civilians, stating “Israel’s hasbara (public relations) says context for assault is rocket fire. Well, context for rocket fire is 64 years of expulsion & occupation.” This is a brazen lie.Actually several brazen lies. There has never been a “Palestine” to expel anyone from. More than one million Israeli citizens are Arabs with more rights than any of the Arabs of Gaza or the West Bank.Gaza was a staging ground for three unprovoked aggressive wars against Israel, and in 2005 Israel withdrew its security forces from Gaza in a gesture of peace which was elyimmediatanswered by thousands of Hamas rockets aimed at Jewish civilians.
On October 27, 2013, UC Irvine SJP posted on its Facebook page the series of Hamas-created maps that falsely depict a non-existent Arab nation of “Palestine” existing in 1947 and being colonized by Jews.
During May 6-9, 2013, UC Irvine’s Muslim Student Union (MSU) held a week of events on “Resisting Zionism: The Palestinian Narrative.” The week featured an enormous “apartheid wall” plastered with anti-Israel propaganda including a call for BDS and a list of the purported “Rules of Occupation” which invert the reality that Israeli security measures are necessitated by Palestinian terrorism and aggression to assert the false claim that Israel is seeking to oppress and ethnically cleanse Palestinians. In fact, the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel have more rights and protections than the Arabs of any other Middle Eastern nation. The week of anti-Jewish activities included multiple anti-Israel events including one with anti-Israel activist MikoPeled and also a discussion on “The Need for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.”
On February 4, 2013, UC Irvine SJP held an event featuring BDS Movement founder Omar Barghouti titled “All About BDS.”
In November 2012, UC Irvine’s student senate became one of the first in the nation to pass a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution against Israel. The BDS movement is a Hamas-inspired and funded campaign to strangle the Jewish state. The vote was unanimous, 16-0.
On May 8 2012, anti-Semitic hate speaker Amir Abdel Malik Ali, a black racist “Imam” from Oakland, spoke at Irvine’s Palestinian Liberation Week which is organized by the Muslim Student Union. In addition to defending suicide bombers, Malik Ali has compared the Jews to Nazis and openly expressed support for Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.
In February 2010, UC Irvine’s Muslim Student Union disrupted a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren on campus, which resulted in the arrest of nine of its members (and another two from the UC-Riverside chapter). MSU members stood up one at a time and shouted accusations at Oren including, “Mr. Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech” and “Israel is guilty of 101 war crimes.” The MSU members refused to cease their disruption, even after an administrator repeatedly begged for civility and ultimately scolded the students: “Shame on all of you!” The tactics used by the MSU are in keeping with Hamas’ prohibition on the “normalization” of relations with Israel and supporters of Israel. For its violation of campus rules of civility, the MSU received a one-year suspension, which was ultimately shortened to only one semester after the organization and its lawyer appealed.
In September 2009, UCI students participated in a campus program called the Olive Tree Initiative and met with prominent Hamas leader Aziz Duwaik during a trip to Israel and the West Bank. The students were told to keep the meeting a secret to avoid being prevented from re-entering Israel from the West Bank and to avoid a conflict with Jewish community leaders and others who would have disapproved of the meeting.