Every year during the spring quarter, the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine hosts an ‘Anti-Israel Week.’ Last year the MSU called their week ‘Holocaust in the Holy Land.’ This year the MSU titled it ‘Apartheid Resurrected.’
Events featured Imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali, Neturei Karta’s Dovid Weiss, Lenni Brenner and Imam Mohammad Al-Asi.
For most students, it was nearly impossible to avoid the MSU’s mock-apartheid wall or avoid hearing the speakers while walking to class. Some MSU events were titled ‘Hamas’ and ‘UC Intifada: What You Can Do to Help Palestine.’
I attended almost all of the events, and I was sickened by virtually every speaker. I questioned them after their talks and they asserted that suicide bombing and terrorism against Israelis are commendable because they are freedom-fighting and heroic.
In fact, Amir Abdel Malik Ali, the MSU’s last speaker, said, ‘And we will not stop until we are either victorious or until we are martyred’ to chants of ‘Allah Akbar’ from the Muslim Student Union. During the evening event, Imam Ali explained that Palestinians have no other way but their bodies to transport their bombs. He also said ‘[Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad is actually a pretty nice guy.’
The mock apartheid-wall, moreover, featured shocking letters and pictures in an attempt to demonize Israelis for building a wall to keep suicide bombers out of their country.
The MSU, however, didn’t tell students that they were presenting propaganda. Many of the incidents cited on the wall did not even occur or were not the fault of the Israelis.
For example, one section of the wall featured pictures of a Palestinian family who were having a lovely picnic in Gaza only to have shells fired at them.
The sad part is that the Israeli military was able to prove that they were not responsible for the explosion on Gaza beach that killed the Palestinian family. A top Israeli general, Yaov Galant, told news agencies that the country’s armed forces didn’t cause the explosion, and that he had proof that Israelis did not fire any shells at the area. Hamas, which currently leads the Palestinian parliament, refused to conduct an investigation and blamed the deaths on the Tel Aviv military branch.
Another section of the wall features a letter from a child who died in his father’s arms after being shot by Israel Defense Forces solders. This incident never happened. The entire episode was staged and is what spurred the Palestinians into the Second Intifada.
Using propaganda to attack Israel and Jews isn’t anything new. A couple of years ago the IDF released a video of a fake Palestinian funeral in Jenin. Using a small drone plane, Israel was able to film how the Palestinians tried to stage a fake funeral to show as many casualties as possible.
However, when you argue these facts with MSU members they either say that these are Zionist lies or that it doesn’t matter. Most of the MSU members I talked to last week told me they don’t support a two-state solution and want the Israelis out. Now, I don’t know where people expect six million Jews to go. Most of them can’t go live in the Arab countries they were initially kicked out of. This simply is not a solution.
The MSU is also fixated upon presenting all Jews as white supremacists despite the fact that more than 55 percent of Jews in Israel today are of Sephardic or Mizrahi descent, meaning that they are Jews of color, Jews who were driven out of the Arab world and found their home in Israel.
It appears that the MSU is not interested in solutions. Their objective is to demonize Israel using false information, false incidents and false quotes, such as the Nelson Mandela quote on their flyer.
Throughout the week, students who are Jewish or pro-Israel, or at least appeared to be Jewish or pro-Israel, were harassed and intimidated by members of the MSU. We have many of the incidents documented on our cameras.
Of course the MSU will probably tell you these are ‘Zionist lies’ and anyone who is Israeli is really out to oppress them, despite the fact that Palestinians have been offered a state on several occasions.
The point of this article is to urge those of you have seen the MSU mock-apartheid wall and heard their speakers to now try to hear the other side before you decide to hate Israel. On May 30, Walid Shoebat, an ex-terrorist, and two other ex-terrorists will be coming to speak at UCI in the Bren Events Center. This event is free and open to the public. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. I urge everyone to come hear the stories of three ex-terrorists who have lived their lives under oppressive governments that taught them only to hate from infancy. If you cannot attend the event, there will be other opportunities to hear about Israel and Judaism from the Anteaters for Israel and Hillel.
Reut R. Cohen is a third-year English major. She can be reached at