Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Free Speech Threatened At UC Irvine: Protesters Interupt Israeli Ambassador's Speech

Via Orange County Register
Free speech's survival is at stake at UC Irvine. Its fate is in the hands of UCI Chancellor Michael Drake.

On Monday night there was an assault on this most treasured principle of Americans. Michael Oren, a respected academic and Israel's ambassador to the United States, attempted to make a presentation to about 500 students, faculty and community members about U.S.-Israeli relations. A raucous group of protesters time and again interrupted his effort to create a bridge of understanding over the contentious issue of the Middle East. The protesters screamed and shouted attempting to drown out the ambassador. One of one, they were removed by security officials who stood on the perimeter of the UCI Student Center

[Editor's note: UCI officials said Tuesday that of 12 people arrested, nine were UCI students, and three were students at UC Riverside. UCI police initially refused to release the names of the arrestees, who were cited for disrupting a public event.]

After repeated interruptions, Oren stepped out. In a side room, officials from the university, the Jewish community and the Israeli Consulate were questioning if the ambassador should continue. The real question was would the university be a place for an exchange of ideas or one where totalitarianism and verbal violence would hold sway.

The ambassador told Chancellor Drake, "It's not about me speaking, it's about the right of academic freedom on campus." I told Drake that it was time for him to consider suspending or expelling students who believe they can use violence and intimidation to impose their views on others.

Video h/t to Jawa's beotch and terrorist supporter Jewish Convert to Islam Joseph (Yousef al Khattab) Cohen(safe link) who commented "Well done"

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