SJP shuts down another pro-Israel event at UC-Irvine
The University of California, Irvine’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter once again disrupted and shut down a pro-Israel event, shouting “fuck you” at attendees.
Campus Reform reported last May that students affiliated with SJP had participated in shutting down a film-screening hosted by a Jewish student group on campus, resulting in a “written warning, effective immediately” sanctioned against SJP, which expired in March.
Now, almost exactly a year later, the same group overtook a Students Supporting Israel event featuring Israeli veterans who are touring college campuses to share their firsthand experiences from on the ground.
A group of roughly 30 protesters descended upon the event when it was about halfway through, initially engaging civilly but quickly turning to insulting the speakers and shouting over them as they attempted to answer questions.
Video footage of the proceedings, chronicled by former UCI professor Gary Fouse, shows the protesters leading chants of “Israel, Israel, you can’t hide/we charge you with genocide” and “Israel, Israel, what do you say?/how many people have you killed today?” for nearly five minutes, eventually leaving after the police were called.
“You people are colonizers or occupiers and you should not be allowed on this fucking campus,” one of the protesters exclaimed, shouting “fuck you” before leaving the venue with her applauding peers.
Kevin Brum, the founder and sole member of Students Supporting Israel at UCI, told The Algemeiner that members of the school’s police department were scheduled to be present for the duration of the “high-risk program,” but didn’t arrive on the scene until ten minutes after they had been called.
“After not showing up when we first needed them, UCIPD took us out not by a safe alternate route or by clearing a path [through the corridor], but they decided to take us through a path of protesters who posed a high likelihood of violence,” Brum added.
The Student Supporting Israel national organization released a statement on the incident, demanding that the school’s SJP chapter be “held accountable” for “not abiding by the terms” of their recently-expired warning, and calling for the group to be suspended for a full academic year.
Additionally, the statement called on “SSI leaders, members, and supporters from all over the country” to call the university’s Chancellor to demand sanctions against SJP.
“We need the pro-Israel and Jewish community to support our students and to not allow UC Irvine to drag the investigation, make our students feel unwelcome and unsafe on campus [as] SJP gets away with a minor punishment that makes members of SJP feel empowered,” the statement concludes.
Campus Reform reached out to the university for comment on the matter, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
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