ZOA Offers Videotape
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has written to the U.S. Department of Justice and urged them to investigate whether the Muslim Student Union (MSU), a registered student group at the University of California, Irvine, may have illegally used the campus as a base for fundraising for the terrorist group Hamas. In a letter sent last Friday to Eric H. Holder, Jr., the U.S. Attorney General, and George S. Cardona, the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, the ZOA notified the Justice Department that on May 21, 2009, the MSU and an MSU-sponsored speaker named George Galloway, solicited funds for Viva Palestina, Galloways convoy to Gaza. The ZOA expressed concern that the funds raised at UC Irvine may have been for the purpose of providing material support and resources to Hamas, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, in violation of the law. (To read a copy of the ZOAs letter, click here.)
The ZOAs report to the Justice Department followed on the heels of UC Irvines own representation that it had reported the conduct of the MSU and George Galloway to law enforcement officials. After the ZOA brought the fundraising and other related concerns to the attention of Diane Geocaris, UC Irvines Chief Campus Counsel and Associate General Counsel, Ms. Geocaris responded by letter dated September 30, 2009. She stated that UC Irvine takes very seriously allegations of wrongdoing. We appreciate your [the ZOA] bringing this to our attention. Ms. Geocaris represented that the University has referred th[e] matter to law enforcement officials for action as they deem appropriate. In addition, the University has also initiated an internal review.
In the ZOAs letter to the Justice Department, the ZOA urged that the Department scrutinize not only the conduct of the MSU and George Galloway, but also the conduct of UC Irvine officials. The ZOA asserted that UC Irvine officials knew or should have known that the MSUs solicitation of funds had not been approved by the University. But at least four University officials were present at the Galloway event. Not one of them put a stop to the solicitation of funds, or apparently, saw fit to report the misconduct to senior University officials.
The ZOA offered the Justice Department videotaped footage from the event at UC Irvine showing the solicitation of funds for Viva Palestina. In addition, the ZOA said that there were several witnesses to the solicitation who are willing to come forward.
Morton A. Klein, the ZOAs National President, and Susan B. Tuchman, Esq., the director of the ZOAs Center for Law and Justice, expressed confidence that the Justice Department would investigate this troubling incident at UC Irvine: Particularly since the Islamist terrorist attacks on 9/11, fighting terrorism is every Americans responsibility. That includes ensuring that our colleges and universities are not used in any way to promote U.S.-designated terrorist groups like Hamas who have murdered and maimed so many innocent people. We are gratified that UC Irvine has itself moved expeditiously on this matter by reporting it to law enforcement and instituting an internal probe. If the solicitation of funds at UC Irvine last May was for the purpose of supporting Hamas, then to protect the publics trust and the safety of Hamas intended victims, the wrongdoers must be held accountable.