In a strongly worded letter sent yesterday to Michael Drake, the Chancellor of the University of California, Irvine, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) criticized him for failing to exercise his First Amendment right and moral duty as UC Irvines leader by clearly and forcefully condemning, by name, the Muslim Student Union and its speakers and activities last week, which promoted hatred of Jews and Israel on your campus. We fear that this vicious and ugly verbal violence against Jews could lead to physical attacks against Jews on your campus. As noted historian Paul Johnson wrote in A History of the Jews, Jewish history has taught us that the demonization of Jews and continuous verbal attacks against Jews often lead to physical violence against them. (To read the letter, click here.)
Last week, the Muslim Student Union held its annual anti-Semitic and Israel-bashing event entitled Israel Apartheid Week. Amir Abdel Malik Ali, a frequent guest of the Muslim Student Union, spoke last Thursday, and openly and proudly stated that he supports Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad, three groups that the U.S. State Department has designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Hamas charter specifically calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. Malik Ali also said that he supports jihad on the UC Irvine campus, as long as its in the form of bringing truth to power.
In addition, Malik Ali confirmed that he opposes dialogue on campus with Jews, whom he called the new Nazis:
The reason why I said do not sit down, that its not a good idea to sit down with Zionists, is because when you sit down with Zionists for cookies and cake and talk about issues, that kind of thing, right, it gives the impression that Zionism is like, its okay, its okay. Now, you Jews, in all due respect, you wouldnt sit down with Nazis for tea and cake, no you wouldnt. If a Nazi came up to you and said, Look, look, look, were, were the Third Reich, were the Third Reich. Youre Jews. Lets sit down for tea and crumpets. You would say, Get outta here, I aint, Im a Jew, I aint sittin down with no Nazis for tea and crumpets. Yall the new Nazis. So were saying, we aint sittin down with you all for tea and crumpets.
The ZOA emphasized to the Chancellor: The message that Malik Ali subtly delivered last week is ominous: The Nazis committed unspeakable crimes against Jews and humanity, and it was thus our right and moral duty to fight them, kill them, and destroy them. Malik Ali strongly implied in his message that because the Jews are the so-called new Nazis and Israel the Nazi apartheid state, it is our right and moral duty to fight Jews and Israel and destroy them. His speech, together with the other speeches and programs that the Muslim Student Union has sponsored on the campus this year and in previous years, conjure up images of the Munich beer halls in the 1930s, when the Germans demonized the Jews and incited hatred and violence against them.
Two days after Malik Alis speech, Chancellor Drake issued a statement reporting that at the speech, there were offensive remarks supporting terrorism. He also described several other speeches, lectures and discussions last week as very difficult and offensive to listen to.
Describing this statement as vague and tepid, the ZOA wrote to Chancellor Drake: To be truly meaningful, your statement should have condemned Amir Abdel Malik Ali by name. You should have denounced his outrageous and odious comparison of Jews to Nazis as anti-Semitism, plain and simple. Indeed, you did not even use the word anti-Semitism in your statement. And you never condemned the Muslim Student Union by name for continuing to promote bigotry against Jews and Israel, and advocating violence against them.
The ZOA also criticized the Chancellor for failing to condemn the Muslim Student Unions display of posters and cartoons last week which demonized Jews. One picture depicted a soldier wearing a tallit (Jewish prayer shawl), stepping on the face of a man who says, I am Palestinian! The ZOA wrote: There is no doubt that you would be cracking down on any individual or group that was routinely demonizing African Americans and Hispanics and calling them Nazis.
In the letter, the ZOA also pointed out that UC Irvine should never even have permitted the Muslim Student Union to sponsor last weeks event. Almost one year ago, the Muslim Student raised funds for George Galloways Viva Palestina, a group that has furnished material support and resources to Hamas. Providing material support and resources to a Foreign Terrorist Organization like Hamas violates federal law. In addition, there is evidence that the Muslim Student Union orchestrated the repeated disruption of Israeli Ambassador Michael Orens speech at UC Irvine last February. The ZOA wrote, This group has repeatedly violated university policies, and possibly federal and state law. You had the authority and the obligation to suspend the Muslim Student Union and to deny it the privilege of being a registered student group with access to university facilities, equipment, etc.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein; Steven M. Goldberg, Esq., Vice President of the ZOAs Los Angeles chapter and Vice Chairman of the National Board; and Susan B. Tuchman, Esq., the Director of the ZOAs Center for Law and Justice, said: Chancellor Michael Drakes statement did not say what it needed to. We call on him to issue additional public statements that specifically condemn Amir Abdel Malik Ali and the Muslim Student Union by name, as well as the hateful and inflammatory speech and conduct they continue to engage in.
We also call on the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) to condemn the bigotry and incitement to hatred and violence that the Muslim Student Union continues to promote on the UC Irvine campus. These groups say that they are committed to fighting anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias, bigotry and violence. Presumably, they oppose bias, bigotry and violence against all racial and ethnic minorities, including Jews. Its time for CAIR, the ADC, and MPAC to finally forcefully and publicly condemn the ongoing anti-Semitic bigotry and incitement to violence against Jews and Israel supporters at UC Irvine, and also to denounce the group that continues to promote hatred of Jews and Israel, the Muslim Student Union.