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August 19, 2016 6:39 am

Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Irvine Issued Written Warning Over Recent Violent Anti-Israel Protest on Campus

avatar by Lea Speyer

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UC Irvine's Students for Justice in Palestine were issued a "written warning" by the university for a violent May protest against a pro-Israel event. Photo: SJP UCI Facebook.

Photo: SJP UCI Facebook.

An anti-Israel student group responsible for a violent protest at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) has been issued a written warning, following the conclusion this week of a three-month investigation, The Algemeiner has learned.  

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), perpetrators of the demonstration in May, was among students and staff who received an email, obtained by The Algemeiner, from Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Thomas A. Parham, reading, in part:

After a thorough review, the student conduct investigation is now complete. The investigators found that SJP, the group that organized and led the protest, violated Student Conduct Policies regarding disruption: ‘Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other University activities.’ As a result, SJP was issued a written warning, effective immediately and continuing until March 29, 2017. As part of the sanction, SJP must host an educational program by November 18, 2016.

This decision was reached after weeks of interviews with multiple witnesses and a thorough review of pertinent information…The decision is subject to appeal and the outcome of the appeal is final.

As is standard practice in law enforcement, the police investigation will remain open to accommodate additional witnesses who may wish to come forward…We support and defend groups exercising free speech and assembly, yet we must protect everyone’s right to express themselves without disruption…

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

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.

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. The DA’s office concluded that SJP did not engage in any criminal wrongdoing.

Attacks against Jewish and pro-Israel students saw a dramatic rise across more than 100 US college campuses between January and June 2016. According to a report by campus watchdog group the AMCHA Initiative, antisemitic incidents on college campuses increased by 45 percent as compared with the same time period in 2015.

In addition, according to the report, the suppression of Jewish students’ freedom of speech and assembly doubled, while calls for Israel’s elimination tripled. The calls and acts opposing Israel’s right to exist were found to be highly correlated with behavior that targeted Jewish students for harm.

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  • Paul Kell

    More than ever, not seen since the late 60’s rise of Arab religious gangsters on college campuses, Resurrect a Jewish Student Org that are Activists and unwilling to be Bullied. As a former JDL member, we need to resurrect the best aspects of the JDL and ignore the rest.

  • SteveHC

    “As part of the sanction, SJP must host an educational program by November 18, 2016.”

    – One can only *imagine* what SJP will consider to be “educational.”

  • As a part-time teacher at UCI since 1998, I have seen this coddling of pro-Palestinian troublemakers for years. This was quite predictable.

    Instead of SJP having to host an educational event (which would probably involve some speaker like Amir Abdul Malik Ali or Rabab Abdulhadi. Instead of hosting an “educational event” (which would probably have as speaker someone like Amir Abdel Malik Ali or Rabab Abdulhadi) SJP should be required to attend a class on free speech, civility and anti-Semitism.

    It would also nice to know why so-called “legal observers” from the National Lawyers Guild attached to the UCI law school participated in the disruption and why the Cross Cultural Center was (as usual) used as the staging center for the disruptors.

    If this is representative of Chancellor Gillman’s recently announced initiative to apply the principles on tolerance as passed by the UC regents, there is little hope for this institution in terms of combating anti-Semitism.

  • Paul Leslie

    This is just a slap on the wrist.

    Class actions against Irvine should be organised until proper sanctions are imposed