DA investigating anti-Jewish protest at UCI

A local District Attorney’s office is now investigating the University of California, Irvine’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter over its hostile takeover of a Jewish event on campus in May.

Campus Reform had initially reported the story that a group of Jewish students at UCI was effectively held hostage by an aggressive mob purportedly consisting of anti-Israel students organized by SJP, who surrounded the Jewish students as they chanted “Intifada, Intifada, long live the Intifada.”

[RELATED: Anti-Semitic sentiments run rampant within UC system]

In response, 36 local and national Jewish and civil rights advocacy groups sent an open letter to UCI’s administration condemning the incident as just the latest in a “long-standing and pervasive problem of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism that has incited hatred of Jews and acts of aggression and violence against Jewish and pro-Israel students.”

Although UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman did respond to the letter, he refused to acknowledge any sort of deep-seated or historical problem of Jew-hatred on his campus.

[RELATED: UCI chancellor downplays school’s history of anti-Semitic incidents]

Now, however, the case has been passed along by a third party to the Orange County District Attorney’s office for further investigation into whether any criminal behavior occurred during the SJP protest, DA spokesperson Roxi Fyad confirmed with Campus Reform.

UCI told Campus Reform that its student affairs office is currently conducting a simultaneous investigation of the case, but noted that its police officers did not pass their findings along to the District Attorney.

[RELATED: UCI Anti-Zionism week clashes with Holocaust Remembrance Day]

While dozens of civil advocates have stepped up to defend the rights of Jewish students at UCI, one local Jewish organization is actually encouraging Orange County residents to write to the District Attorney asking him not to press charges.

“Protesters were falsely accused of endangering event participants, and now the case has been referred to the Orange County District Attorney,” the Jewish Voice for Peace writes on its website. “Email the district attorney now and demand that he drop the charges.”

The page contains a pre-written message to the DA urging him not to file charges in the case, but the wording is completely editable, meaning visitors are able to send any message they like.

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