Wednesday, February 29, 2012

UC Davis should be Ashamed

Two young Israelis, Ranya Fadel and Ran Bar-Yoshafat are touring American campuses as part of Israeli Soldiers’ Stories. The tour is sponsored by StandWithUs, an international Israel education organization. On Monday, Feb 27, they were scheduled to speak at UC Davis in an event co-sponsored by Chai Life-Club.

Ranya belongs to Israel’s Druze minority community. Her father and brother have both served in the Israeli military. She has a diploma in biotechnology and a bachelor’s degree in political sciences at Bar Ilan University. She begins her talk apologizing for her English- reminding people that its her third language, after Arabic and Hebrew . Bar-Yoshafat is a Jewish Israeli and is the grandchild of Holocaust survivors. He is the former Israeli national champion for mixed martial arts (1999-2000) and is a lawyer in the Kenneset.

The young Israelis were here not as representatives of their government, but rather to put a human face on the conflict that too often is ignored.

What happened to them at UC Davis was a disgrace and an embarrassment. Two young people, visitors from far way were subject to a display from Davis students and community members that has no place on a college campus, where above all else, free speech and open discourse should be cherished. The repugnant behavior of anti-Israel students organizations and anti-Israel community organizations, and the deliberate negilence of the UC Davis campus police to maintain order was deeply disturbing and needs to be addressed

From a local blogger

1. The plan of the anti-Israel bashers was twofold:
*to arrive early and fill the room to capacity allowing no other people to enter–and then at a predetermined point to get up and walk out, leaving an empty classroom with no one to listen to the speakers
*and if they were unable to carry out the above plan, to continuously heckle the speakers making their presentation impossible
2. In regard to the first part of the anti-Israel plan, the pro-Israel organizers of the event changed the room at the last minute which forced the anti-Israel forces to show up after many others had already arrived to take their seats.
3. In regard to the second part of the anti-Israel plan, the main heckler, a student from India, indicated after the program had concluded that he was paid $50 by “Muslim students” to heckle so loudly that the program would not be able to continue.
4. A pre-program meeting of the “pro-Palestinian” students took place in the campus classroom in which the program was originally scheduled to take place. In that meeting, there were approximately 100 “pro-Palestinian supporters” including not only UCD students led by Students for Justice in Palestine, but also representatives of the Davis Peace Coalition, the Jewish Voice for Peace, the Davis Committee for Palestinian Rights, American Muslims for Palestine, and the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement.

Ran and Ranya were exquisite, exhibiting tremendous grace under pressure. Never once loosing focus, they stressed to the students they were at Davis to talk. They spoke about their lives in Israel- lives very similar to those of American young people. They watched Seinfeld and Friends. They went to the beach. They went shopping with their friends. But all that changed during the second intifada. They spoke of the bus bombings and the assaults on Israeli civilians. They spoke of the friends they lost. Ranya showed a memorial- "This victim was Muslim. This victim was Druze. This victim was Jewish" Her message was clear- terror affects everyone. Ran showed us a list of his friends who had died- there were nearly 20 names on it. He carries the list so he never forgets.

UC Davis police, summoned to the event because of the disruptions refused to do anything. They refused to remove hecklers and do anything to ensure that the rights of the speakers were protected

Tuesday evening, Ran and Ranya spoke at UC Berkeley. A rapt, respectful audience listen to their every word, and politely questioned them after.

UC Davis should be ashamed. Let them know here.


Anonymous said...

The man in the video has claimed that MSA members gave him $50 to disrupt the event. I have no way of knowing if this is true or not. Its been reported that he shook hands with the speakers, apologized for his behavior, and then confessed that his motivation for interupting was financial and not an ideological.
Does anyone know the name of the young man in the video? Many people would very much like to speak to him about these allegations.

Gary Fouse said...

Typical. A bunch of college punks who would never even think of serving their country in uniform treat soldiers in such a shameless fashion. And what are the campus cops-a bunch of potted plants? Disgusting.

Gary Fouse
adjunct teacher

David H. said...

this idiot in the video is a total show boat. he thinks he's some kind of star.

Anonymous said...

I was told that Campus Security and the UC Davis police were following orders to do nothing unless there was violence. They refused to take the names of the disruptive individuals. They are clearly afraid to do anything "politically incorrect" following the Occupy pepper spray incident. This may very well set a chilling precedent for future campus events. I can't help but wonder- if Jewish students had done this to an anti-Israeli event, if the police and the press would have treated it in the same fashion.
Interestingly enough, although dozens of the SJP members and their affiliates filmed the repeated disruptions- I have yet to see them surface. Perhaps the young fools realize how ridiculous they looked.

Anonymous said...

The demeanor of the disrupter is such that it's clear that he is just "brassing it out". His speech was devoid of sincere emotional tambre nothing he said showed any familiarity with the issues. The idea that this disrupter as paid fifty dollars seems likely.

David H. said...

this video is through the roof with page views! many of the comments are cracking up!