Saturday, February 5, 2011

Eleven students charged with disrupting Israeli Ambassador's speech at UC Irvine

The Orange County District Attorney's Office has filed charges of misdemeanor conspiracy to disturb a meeting and misdemeanor disturbance of a meeting, said Susan Kang Schroeder, chief of staff for Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. The charges stem from the disruption of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech Feb. 8, 2010. "This case is being filed because there was an organized attempt to squelch the speaker, who was invited to speak to a group at UCI," Rackauckas said.
We must decide whether we are a country of laws or a country of anarchy. We cannot tolerate a preplanned violation of the law, even if the crime takes place on a school campus and even if the defendants are college students. In our democratic society, we cannot tolerate a deliberate, organized, repetitive and collective effort to significantly disrupt a speaker who hundreds assembled to hear."

The defendants are:

Mohamad Mohy-Eldeen Abdelgany, 23, of UCI
Khalid Gahgat Akari, 19, of UC Riverside
Aslam Abbasi Akhtar, 23, of UCI
Joseph Tamim Haider, 23, of UCI
Taher Mutaz Herzallah, 21, of UC Riverside
Hakim Nasreddine Kebir, 20, of UCI
Shaheen Waleed Nassar, 21, of UC Riverside
Mohammad Uns Qureashi, 19, of UCI
Ali Mohammad Sayeed, 23, of UCI
Osama Ahmen Shabaik, 22, of UCI
Asaad Mohamedidris Traina, 19, of UCI

True to form, Jewish Voice for peace, known for their blog Muzzlewatch that claims to track "efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy", spoke out in support of the disruptors. Apparently its perfectly fine to stifle open debate when they don't like whats being said.

A recent email sent out by Emily Ratner, on behalf of Jewish Voice for Peace, claims her interuption of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech before the Jewish Federation's General Assembly in November, was inspired by the brave example in part by these 11 students . Emily asked, paradoxically, "What will happen to the Irvine 11and to freedom of speech for all of us?".

Noam Chomsky once said (remember, this Emily) "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." The attempts of the MSA in Irvine, and JVP to curtail others liberties is an affront to us all.

Read more here:


Anonymous said...

CAIR (Committee on American Islamic Relations) sent out an alert, calling for immediate action
1. Contact the Orange County District Attorney's office.

Tony Rackauckas, OC District Attorney

Phone: (714) 834-3600

Suggested Talking Points:

a. It is not appropriate for the DA's office to waste precious taxpayer dollars by criminalizing students who only verbally protested a foreign official.

b. The DA's office appears to have caved in to pro-Israel groups who seek to silence all legitimate criticism of Israel.

Ummmm. Since when is a public tantrum "legitimate criticism"? Since when is chanting insults "legitimate criticism" ?

Anonymous said...

as much as i was for the msu being punished by uci and wish that their charter would be revoked, as it seems their purpose has more to do with intimidating jewish students and demonizing israel, i dont like that the county has chosen to take this further

i was hoping that the investigation had found ties to terrorist groups...not a simple misdemeanor

at the most, they will get a fine

what this will do is turn them into martyrs for the far left

they are thugs...simple thugs