UCI's SJP Fascists

Campus hate group gets a wink and a nod to continue anti-Semitic activities.

On May 25, the University of California, Irvine (UCI) witnessed a shocking display of blatant anti-Semitism coupled with egregious suppression of free speech and open discourse. Campus Brownshirts from the hate group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) violently disrupted a movie screening organized by pro-Israel groups. The screening featured the acclaimed documentary, Beneath the Helmet, which documents the personal experiences and challenges of Israeli soldiers while undergoing basic training in a paratroop battalion.

A large and vocal group of SJP hooligans initiated a campaign of violent intimidation aimed at disrupting the event and causing harm to the attendees. They blocked entrances and exits preventing ingress and egress to and from the building. Those already inside were literally trapped while others who tried to attend were physically blocked. One female student who tried to attend was threatened and chased by a number of SJP members. She was ultimately forced to call the police while taking refuge in a nearby building. Additional police were dispatched to escort the attendees out of the building where the screening was held.

As noted by Lea Speyer of the Algemeiner, the disruptive rabble shouted slogans like, “Long live the intifada,” “f*** the police,” “displacing people since ’48 / there’s nothing here to celebrate,” and “all white people need to die.”

Though the event was not canceled and the screening went on as scheduled, the upheaval and environment of fear caused by the SJP’s antics distracted from the event and dissuaded many from attending. A re-screening was subsequently held on June 8 and also featured the short film, “Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus,” which was shown before the screening of “Beneath the Helmet.”

Given the magnitude of the SJP disruption and the blatant display of racism and anti-Semitism, one would have thought that campus officials would have instituted stern action against the vile offenders. Shockingly, however, administration officials gave the SJP what amounted to a mere slap on the wrist. An email from the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Thomas A. Parham, noted in part:

“After a thorough review, the student conduct investigation is now complete. The investigators found that SJP, the group that organized and led the protest, violated Student Conduct Policies regarding disruption: ‘Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other University activities.’ As a result, SJP was issued a written warning, effective immediately and continuing until March 29, 2017. As part of the sanction, SJP must host an educational program by November 18, 2016.”

University officials acknowledged that the SJP violated the student code of conduct and disrupted free speech and university activities. Nonetheless, officials decided to limit the sanction to a pathetic warning and requiring the SJP to host an “educational program.” No doubt the SJP will use the “educational” opportunity to advance their pernicious, anti-Semitic venom thus defeating the purpose of the sanction. 

Essentially, university officials blatantly disregarded overt Judeophobia and threats of physical violence against students and gave the SJP a wink and a nod to continue to engage in similar maleficence. A number of Jewish groups expressed rightful outrage over the meek punishment.  Aron Hier, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, accurately summed up the feelings of the aggrieved parties by characterizing UCI’s sanction as “a completely feckless ‘punishment.”

The incident at UCI is eerily reminiscent of another disturbing event that occurred this year at San Francisco State University.  On April 6, Israel’s mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, was in the midst of addressing an audience when SJP thugs interrupted his speech by hurling guttural anti-Semitic epithets. Campus police did not intervene and allowed the hooligans to continue with their anti-Semitic tirade. To his credit, Barkat did not succumb to the fascists. Rather than terminating the event, he descended from the podium to address the audience in a more informal setting, less susceptible to the raucous caused by the unhinged disrupters.

Those who committed the disruption were clearly identified by video. The following day, University President Les Wong issued an encouraging statement that committed the school to free speech and open discourse and promised a full investigation into the incident to determine whether school regulations were violated. However, to my knowledge, no action has yet been taken against the offenders. It appears that Mr. Wong is paying mere lip service to the principles of free speech and civil discourse and cares little about the scourge of overt anti-Semitism plaguing his university.

Both SFSU and UCI are state universities that are partially funded through taxpayer dollars. As such, their noted complicity in suppression of free speech and failure to take necessary action to address campus anti-Semitism exposes them to meritorious lawsuits. Students could maintain an additional cause of action for violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color or national origin.

Clearly, the SJP represents the face of hate and anti-Semitism. They are the modern day equivalent of yesteryear's Nazi thugs who instituted boycotts against Jewish owned business and heralded a reign of terror against Jews living in Germany and then throughout Europe. It is incumbent upon university heads to recognize this malevolency and address the issue in expeditious fashion by expelling SJP militants and outlawing their pernicious activities on university campuses.