ZOA Applauds U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman For Imploring The Chancellor Of UC Irvine To Publicly Condemn The Muslim Anti-Semitic Programs There
May 11, 2009


            The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) praises U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) for calling on Chancellor Michael V. Drake, M.D. of the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to condemn an ongoing campus event sponsored by the Muslim Student Union (MSU) entitled “Israel:  The Politics of Genocide.”  As Congressman Sherman said in a letter to the Chancellor last year in response to another MSU event, this year’s event “appears intended to encourage violence against the State of Israel and propagate the spread of anti-Semitism.”  (To read the Congressman’s letter, click here.)


            Congressman Sherman criticized Chancellor Drake, noting “my extreme disappointment that you have not yet spoken out against some of the statements made at last year’s MSU event.”  As Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Nonproliferation, Terrorism, and Trade, the Congressman expressed concern about the statements of some of the MSU’s speakers on campus, one of whom said, “The truth of the matter is:  [Israel’s] days are numbered.  We will fight you until we are either martyred or until we are victorious” (emphasis in original).  The Congressman was particularly troubled by the call for “martyrdom,” which he rightly recognized as “the euphemism for suicide bombing.” 


            According to Congressman Sherman, “[t]he fact that the above-quoted words were uttered in a public forum at UCI is a stain on the fabric of a great university, which can be cleaned only by the personal and public denunciation of its Chancellor.”


            While emphasizing his strong support of the First Amendment right to free speech, Congressman Sherman underscored Chancellor Drake’s right and responsibility to speak out against the hate and bigotry at UCI:  “I hope you share my belief that we all have a moral responsibility to denounce speech that is clearly and unambiguously hateful and threatening.  As an American, you have a right to speak out.  As Chancellor, it is your duty to condemn violence, hate, and anti-Semitism, especially when it occurs at the UCI campus.” 


            Morton A. Klein, the ZOA’s National President, and Susan B. Tuchman, Esq., the director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, applauded Congressman Sherman’s continued leadership in the fight against anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing at UCI, a serious problem on campuses nationwide:  “It’s time for Chancellor Drake to end his silence.  He may not be able to stop the MSU from spewing its venom, but he has own First Amendment rights and should be exercising them by condemning the anti-Semitic programs and speakers on campus, and the group that is sponsoring them.


“This is not just our plea to the Chancellor, but the plea of many concerned members of the community.  In a petition to the Chancellor that has been on line for only a few days, more than 2500 individuals have called on the Chancellor to speak out against Israel-bashing on his campus and the group that continues to promote it.  (To sign the petition, go to http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?msu509.)


            “We are all waiting for Chancellor Drake’s response.  We hope that he will finally do what is right and just and say ‘no,’ forcefully and publicly, to anti-Semitism on his campus.


We urge everyone in the community who abhors bigotry to contact Chancellor Drake and insist that he publicly speak out against the MSU’s hateful and anti-Semitic speakers and programs, something that he has continually refused to do.  Call Chancellor Drake at (949) 824-5111; e-mail him at chancellor@uci.edu; or write to him at:  The Chancellor’s Office, Irvine, CA 92697-1900.”

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