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Letter to the Editor: Responding To “Liberation Week Comes To UCI”

An opinion on the article of Cleo Tobbi “Liberation Week comes to UCI” in the May 15th, 2012 issue of New University.

The recent coverage by the New University (signed by Cleo Tobbi) of the so-called Liberation Week organized by the Muslim Student Union did not reflect the neutrality and critical sense that a university newspaper addressing all students and faculty should show.  From its start, it has adopted the vocabulary of the MSU and its supporters aiming at the demonization of Israel in preparation of its destruction as clearly advocated by one of the participants Imam Amir Adel Malik Ali, who openly denied that Israelis had any right to live in Israel as “they are all from Europe”(sic). Furthermore I am afraid that the words used by Cleo Tobbi to describe the exchange between Ali and “Zionist Jews, Jewish people and Israeli supporters” do reflect the judeophobia of the writer: Jews do not argue, they “yell” or express themselves by “groans and cries”. This reminds us that for Islamists, Jews are dogs and pigs. The old anti-Semitic clichés are thus very close.

It is also interesting to see that Imam Ali’s denial of the existence of Al Qaeda did not raise any comment from the article’s writer; if Ali had said that the earth is flat, it would have probably been accepted. In any case it makes us better understand the intellectual level of the Liberation Week. After reading the New University article, I wonder what such people who organized the Week do in a university.

Finally, to treat as heroes those whom a US court condemned for breaching the Constitution reflects the real substance of the Week. A university newspaper should be much more careful when reporting it, otherwise the reader will think that it agrees, an unethical position for a newspaper.

Yet and in spite of its writer, even a summary analysis of the article shows that the Liberation Week is not an action in favor of the Palestinians but an action against the Israelis. It is not a pro-Palestinian manifestation but an Islamo-Palestinian manifestation where the participants, like Imam Ali or “activist” White, only present destructive slogans and clichés as those prepared and accepted by organizations like Hamas (“make no mistake about it. Hamas are our heroes” to quote Imam Ali).

Finally facts are speaking by themselves: this manifestation is another example of what columnist Thomas Friedman wrote in the April 1st 2002 issue of The New York Times: “all [that Palestinians] can agree on as a community is what they want to destroy, not what they want to build”.

Jean Fried is a Project Scientist at UC Irvine. He can be reached at