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July 18, 2016 2:54 pm

Pro-Israel Campus Groups: UC Irvine ‘Dragging Out, Burying’ Investigation Into Violent Anti-Israel Protest

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An anti-Israel mob at University of California, Irvine on May 18. Photo: Paula Prizio.

An anti-Israel mob at University of California, Irvine on May 18. Photo: Paula Prizio.

Officials at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) appear to be “burying” the institution’s own investigation into a violent anti-Israel protest in May, leaving student demonstrators off the hook for their actions, the heads of two Israel advocacy campus groups told The Algemeiner on Monday.

“UCI is dragging out the investigation,” said Ilan Sinelnikov, founder and president of Students Supporting Israel (SSI), whose UCI chapter was the target of a violent protest. “The school’s administration hasn’t really been in contact with us. They’ve supposedly been in contact with some students — a few questions here and there — but not much more.”

Earlier in July, as reported by The Algemeiner, UCI’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) came under investigation by the Orange County District Attorney’s office to determine whether the behavior of protesters was criminal.

As reported by The Algemeiner, SJP and other anti-Israel student groups at UCI violently demonstrated against a SSI event featuring IDF veterans and the screening of a movie about the Israeli army.

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According to reports at the time, the protesters blockaded attendees and shouted, “Long live the intifada,” “f*** the police,” “displacing people since ‘48/ there’s nothing here to celebrate” and “all white people need to die.” One female student was harassed and chased, to the point that she was forced to take refuge inside a nearby building. Police were eventually called in, but allowed the protest to continue.

Last week, the DA’s office announced the results of its investigation, which concluded that SJP did not engage in any criminal wrongdoing, the OC Register reported.

According to SSI’s Sinelnikov, “It’s okay that criminal charges aren’t pressed against SJP. What we care about is keeping SJP off campus and having them punished by the university. UCI needs to come up with some ultimatum, or even something harsher, against its local SJP chapter.”

Aron Hier, director of campus outreach at the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), told The Algemeiner that “just because the criminal aspect is not moving forward, it doesn’t mean that other rules and policies weren’t broken.”

“There are two valuable remaining fronts. Civil action can be taken, which would require a victim to come forward. The second option — and the one that involves the SWC the most — is that if any university rules have been broken, all wrongdoers must be punished,” he said. “One of three prongs has been removed, but there are two remaining legs to this chair.”

Despite reassurances from UCI officials of a swift investigation, Sinelnikov believes that at this point, “The university will try and bury this situation, which we’re seeing across many other universities when it comes to investigating Palestinian groups.”

“Let’s say this case was about white versus black students on campus. This problem would have been solved right away,” he told The Algemeiner. “As soon as it comes down to Jewish students and Israel, it’s a whole different story and every single time, against and again, these things get dragged out. There is not enough pressure against these universities.”

Echoing Sinelnikov’s sentiments, SWC’s Hier said he is “at a complete loss” as to why UCI is dragging out the investigation. “I myself spoke with a university official about a month ago, and was assured the investigation would be wrapped up as of three weeks ago,” he said.

Both Sinelnikov and Hier called on UCI to publish its findings upon concluding its investigation, and not — as many universities have been known to do — seal them.

“We want transparency and the public has a right to know,” said Sinelnikov. 

“The public at large has a right to be able to access UCI’s findings. We want a chance to access the evidence and see what UCI’s fact-finding process shows,” said Hier.

While the UCI investigation appears to be ongoing, there is no word as to when the university will officially announce its findings. According to Sinelnikov, more pressure needs to be brought on UCI officials to push them to take this matter more seriously.

“Often, when something happens to Jewish or pro-Israel students, a lot of organizations get involved and say, ‘Let’s solve this through the administration and behind the scenes. We want to be on the school’s good side,’” he said. “Every time that’s the case and things are trying to be solved behind the scenes, nothing ever happens. You will only ever see results when the fight is brought to the public’s attention, because the university doesn’t want the bad publicity. Only then do they really begin to feel the pressure.”

“Pressure on the ground forces the university of act. This should be the new mentality of all pro-Israel organizations fighting this fight,” Sinelnikov told The Algemeiner.

UCI spokesperson Cathy Lawhon told The Algemeiner on Monday that all allegations that the university is stalling its own investigation are “absolutely  untrue.”

“UCI’s investigation of the May 18 incident is still underway, guided by formal policies and due process procedures, as outlined in the student handbook. We respect this process, and recognize that students have the right to respond to claims and clarify information,” she said. “Decisions in this matter will be based on careful and neutral review of the facts, and cannot be rushed by third parties. We will update our community once the investigation is complete and appropriate courses of actions are determined.”

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  • It should also be noted that there were so-called “legal representatives” present with the protesters demanding that they had a right to enter the room. These persons identified themselves as being with the National Lawyers Guild-attached to the UCI Law School. The NLG stated themselves in a letter defending the protesters that after the event was over, they marched “back to the Cross Cultural Center”. This is a recurring theme. For years, those disrupting Jewish events and speakers at UCI have used the CCC as a staging area.

    No investigation will be complete until the role of the CCC and UCI Law School is investigated.

    BTW: The NLG was founded in the 1930s as a legal arm of the Communist Party USA.

    Gary Fouse
    Adj teacher
    UCI-EXT

  • Reform School

    “When all is said and done, more is said than done.” Like the One-Worlders dominating every international body from Arab League to Europeeon Commission to NATO to United Nations to White House, the silver-tongued addministraitors now infesting most universities are in quiet partnership with oil sheikhs who have endowed (read bribed) them with petrodollars. Hiding in the lowest, Leftest corner of the United States, Irvine may sound like Irving to Jewish Lipperall parents, but unlike Stanford and its conservative Hoover Institution the University of California system is the one that sucks. Constantly bombarded with socialist programming from tax exempt, university-operated and/or sponsored BBC Whirled Service, National Public Radio, Pacifica Foundation, Public Television (and heaven-knows-how-many-others) guess who wins the battle for hearts and minds!

  • Harold

    The quick answer is to sue for religious discrimination on campus. Then you will see results.

  • howiej

    It’s up to the individual students who were harassed or assaulted and the SSI to file and press charges against those who acted against the law and to file lawsuits or charges against UCI for their violations. If academic retaliations are taken against those pressing charges, then lawsuits should be filed to press for monetary compensation against future earnings and mental distress. UCI will go for the easy way out and the hell with SSI, the rights of pro-Israel or Jewish students for Israel.

  • Sue the U of C blind

    Sue the U of C blind

  • richard sherwin

    well i have to admit burying stinking jewhating behavior is at least one step above burying jews. who knows, maybe even two steps, given worldwide facebook incitement and support. so welcome to the university of california’s bds democracy, bureaucracy, and universal and very self evident equalities. good luck on digging out the wannabe eichmans from their administrators. of course, they never knew anything about anything happening on their campuses. or countries. of course.

  • nat cheiman

    Too many muslims and islamists at these institutions.
    Christians dont do these things.

    • Keith Weinberg

      Of course they do, Nat. You haven’t heard of the Westboro church?

  • Lia

    There is only one action that spurs these universities to promptness: alumni must stop their donations and parents must enroll their children at other universities so that this spec. uni, like Mizzou, feels the consequences in its pocket. Morality and ethics do not matter to these institutions.

  • Leslie Ruth Benjamini

    What else is new. This has been going on for almost 20 years at UCI, to expect anything good to happen there would be a miracle.

  • stevenl

    The California University system is corrupt to the core by socialo-communist idiots. Many of them are Jews.
    Still many Jews support communism and socialism. Both ideologies have led to the death of 120-150 million souls (Hitler,Stalin,Mao and many more) over a period of two to three decades. They do not teach that in American schools and universities.

    • Reform School

      Many of today’s reporters (including some in markets targeted to members of The Tribe) are victims of an indoctrination system that teaches WHAT to think, rather than HOW. Can students—and graduates—be expected to think effectively if their teachers cannot? It is said some should not attend college. If UC is any barometer of higher education (I suspect it is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg) NOBODY should attend college for the next forty years, the time it took for living memory of Egypt to be wiped from the emotional memory of Israel.

      • Reform School

        Many UC students and grads would be better served reading Steve Allen’s “DUMBTH: How to Make Americans Smarter” and/or “DUMBTH: How to Reason Better” and practicing their exercises. Available in public libraries, from his family foundation and booksellers, the link is a sampling of the content. http://articles.latimes.com/1999/mar/07/news/mn-14924

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