Pro-Israel activists face down disruptive protesters at a University of California Irvine event with Israeli Reservists on Duty, May 3, 2018. Photo: YouTube screenshot.
Campus police at University of California, Irvine will in the near future refer anti-Israel disruptors of a May 3, 2018 pro-Israel event to Orange County prosecutors, according to a UCI spokesperson. Referral will occur, says the spokesperson, as soon as the campus police investigation concludes.
If so, UCI will be the second UC campus, after UCLA, to refer loud and raucous anti-Israel disruptors to prosecutors for violation of California’s statutes prohibiting disruption of public meetings, disturbing the peace, and conspiracy to do either one.
After the police referral, it will be up to District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to decide whether actual prosecution should ensue. Rackauckas previously made history with the 2011 prosecution and conviction of the famous “Irvine 11,” who disrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren in 2010 when he spoke at UCI. Rackauckas is considered one the state’s most seasoned, no-nonsense DAs.
The new UCI case arises from a May 3, 2018 effort by UCI’s College Republicans to host a panel with Israeli Reservists on Duty. After about 40 minutes, a parade of anti-Israel agitators filed in to stage a well-orchestrated and unruly disruption, using a bullhorn and shouting derogatory chants. The disruption was documented by at least two dozen videos reviewed by this writer, including this long video at minute 42:00. After the disruptors were ushered out, the boisterous disorder continued to disrupt from the corridor under police protection, according to the videos.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2018 10:47 AM
JNS.org – The late Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek used to say that if one wanted to uproot and replant a tree…
Three statutes pertain. Title 11, Sec. 403 concerns meeting disruption. “Every person who … willfully disturbs or breaks up any assembly or meeting … is guilty of a misdemeanor.” This was the very statute Rackauckas used to successfully prosecute and convict the “Irvine 11.”
Title 11, Sec. 415 involves disturbing the peace. The statute calls for jail time for “any person who maliciously and willfully disturbs another person by loud and unreasonable noise” and also “any person who uses offensive words in a public place which are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction.” A bullhorn was used to hurl provocations at the UCI event, and attendees reported they had to cover their ears due to the continuous cacophony.
Title 11, Sec. 182, a conspiracy statute, can be invoked when “two or more persons conspire to commit any crime.” The May 3 UCI protestors are seen filing into the room as a group, as viewable on the video at minute 41:10, and engaging in coordinated disruption thereafter.
If the UCIPD refers the case for prosecution, it will be an enormous turnabout for a campus where many of the disrupted students and community members feel the university administration itself actually stage-manages such disruptions.
Kimo Gandall, president of the College Republicans, stated, “To many of us in the room, it seemed very suspicious — as if the entire disruption was prearranged in advance with the administration and the UCIPD. The disruptors were allowed in, protested loudly for about 10 minutes, and then all left on cue when given a hand signal by the UCIPD to leave.”
Debbie Glazer, a leading local attorney in StandWithUs’ pro bono legal network who attended the event, echoed a similar sentiment, stating it appeared the UCI police and/or the administration actually “enabled” or “helped to facilitate” the disruptive incident.
At minute 43:08 on the main video, UCI Dean of Students Rameen Talesh can be seen casually whispering to one of the main disruptors. A little more than a minute later, at video spot 44:47, that same disruptor is seen casually putting his hat on and preparing to leave. Twenty seconds later, the disruptors begin a room-wide coordinated exit en masse, with police simultaneously giving a hand sign pointing to the corridor. Protesters then continued their loud disruption in the corridor overseen by uniformed UCI police, who set up a protective perimeter for the protesters, documented in unpublished videos.
A UCI spokesperson explained that Talesh recalled that at video mark 43:08, “He asked the protesters to stop disrupting the speaker and the event, or else the situation would escalate to UCIPD action, given the amplified sound and disruption of the club event.”
Ironically, a May 31, 2017 special UCI Senate report on campus police conduct describes an entrenched system designed to enable protest and even shield protesters from criminal referral. On page 16, in a section focused on “Campus Events and Protests,” the report states, “When there are concerns about a possible student protest on campus” the police shall “insure that students may proceed with the protest with as little interference as possible.” The study adds that the administration deploys “administrators who serve on the Event Management Team [to] do most of the on-the-ground interactive work with protesters and avoid having uniformed police officers be a visible presence. Team members themselves try to deescalate situations when they become volatile and try to keep some physical distance between protesters and counter-protesters. … Police are trained … to avoid intervention unless or until the physical safety of individuals is at risk.”
On page 17, in a section subheaded “Officer Discretion,” the UCI Senate report states, “The officers who work for the UCIPD exercise broad discretion in their responses to misdeeds. If officers observe conduct that violates campus rules or state or local laws, they have the discretion to ignore the conduct.” The report continues, “In some circumstances police officers may refer students to campus misconduct proceedings rather than to the criminal justice system. … For example, if students are involved in the types of misconduct that routinely happen on college campuses such as underage drinking, public intoxication, or violations of nuisance ordinances, then the police department often investigates and resolves the incidents through internal campus proceedings rather than handing the cases over to the Orange County District Attorney for criminal prosecution.”
In the section’s conclusion, the report confirms, “UCIPD officers are trained to be student caretakers and can work to insulate students from involvement in the criminal justice system.”
Mitch Danzig is both a former NYC police officer and a Southern California attorney who works with StandWithUs on campus issues. He read the UCI report, commenting, “Equal protection and equal treatment under the law is fundamental. Looking at that report [the UCI police evaluation] … it seems UCI favors anti-Jewish speech or protest over the rights of Jewish and pro-Israel students.”
A university spokesperson stressed that the UCI Senate probe is “just a report written for the academic UCI Senate. It does not reflect official police policy.”
At first, it seemed that the May 3 disruption would be just another example of a pro-Israel or Jewish event shut down by belligerent disruption. UCI police made no arrests. Various individuals tried to make official police complaints with no results.
Pro-Israel activist Barry Forman videotaped his attempt to lodge an official complaint with a policeman. In doing so, Forman can be heard on the tape — over protester tumult — quoting §403 and other statutes. In addition, Forman’s efforts to get Talesh to instruct police to act were also rebuffed, as shown on one of Forman’s unpublished videos reviewed.
Kimo Gandall, president of UCI’s College Republicans states, “In the middle of the event, they asked me what to do. I asked for police to take action. An officer responded if they had to detain somebody, they would have to end our event. Later, I spoke to a different officer who asked me what happened. I told him in words what he could see in front of his own eyes. Later in May, they did contact me, but still no action was taken.”
In contrast, in 2010, when Ambassador Oren spoke at UCI, police immediately removed protesters without giving them time to cause a disruption. More than one attendee of the May 3, 2018 event suggested that the UCI police operates at two different levels of enforcement that leave small student groups vulnerable. Critics suggest that only at large and prominent events, such as the 2010 Oren speech, sponsored by the Jewish Federation, are disruptors immediately arrested. A suggestion of a two-tiered enforcement policy can be seen in the UCI Senate report which states, “When public intoxication occurs at a large public event … there is a greater likelihood that student misconduct will be handled through the criminal justice system rather than the campus misconduct system.”
Everything at UCI changed after the police reversal at UCLA. At UCLA, anti-Israel agitators belligerently shut down a May 17, 2018 panel sponsored by Students Supporting Israel. Despite promises, UCLA police refused to take any action, claiming no formal police complaints were received. Following media revelations, the Louis D. Brandeis Center and StandWithUs mobilized attorneys to walk students into the UCLA police station to formally file police complaints under supervised conditions. Those complaints resulted in a criminal referral to the LA prosecutor, who is now actively reviewing the case. At press time, LA supervising prosecutor Spencer Hart has asked for a second police investigation to augment his probe.
After the UCLA development, StandWithUs turned its attention to similar campus disruptions, including the raucous May 3, 2018 invasion of the Reservists on Duty panel at UCI. On August 17, 2018 Yael Lerman, the StandWithUs legal director, dispatched an attorney to walk Gandall into the police station for a formal complaint and arranged for others to do the same. For example, Glazer’s five-page statement included a list of the laws violated and concluded “that the UCI police and the UCI administration were not interested in protecting the safety of the audience members or of enforcing explicit UCI policies.”
Lerman concluded, “The turnaround would have never occurred except for what happened at UCLA.”
A UCI spokesperson insisted there was no advance collaboration between the disruptors and the UCI police or administration, adding, “The event management tried to deescalate that day. But, now, we are actively taking steps.”
The US Treasury added three top Hezbollah figures to its list of sanctioned individuals on Tuesday, including two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a security official responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Lebanon’s security agencies.
It was the first time the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had designated a member of Lebanon’s Parliament under a sanctions list that targets those accused by Washington of providing support to terrorist organizations. Washington has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
South African fans in Cairo celebrating their team’s win over Egypt at the African Cup of Nations. Photo: Reuters / Sumaya Hisham.
Three days after South Africa stunned the world of international soccer by knocking hosts Egypt out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, the sound of elation remains clearly detectable in the voice of the team’s Jewish midfielder, Dean Furman.
“It was a fantastic victory, just fantastic,” Furman told The Algemeiner during a break in training on Tuesday, as South Africa prepared for its crucial quarterfinal game against Nigeria, another of the continent’s toughest sides, tomorrow.
Pieter van Oordt, left, with his brother, Roger, at the Israel
For the second time in recent history, a Dutch Christian organization dedicated to supporting Israel has gone head-to-head with the government. With their family tradition of belief in Israel that preceded the state of Israel by almost one hundred years, it seems unlikely that the van Oordts are about to back down, no matter what the odds.
Last month, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy made a request from the management of the Israel Products Center (IPC) to ensure they were in compliance with regulations adopted in 2015 by the European Commission requiring products made by Jewish owned companies in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, and sections of Jerusalem to be labeled in a manner indicating their origins.
Studies have shown that dairy cows contribute large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, caused by the organisms living in their microbiomes.
Genetically modifying cows may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed world populations, a new study led by Prof. Itzhak Mizrahi of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggests.
“Our findings are both a major breakthrough for basic science and will have a positive impact on two major challenges facing the international community for the foreseeable future: climate change and food security,” Mizrahi said.
The decision by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to promote Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter reflects his future political aspirations.
Incoming Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi walks out at the end of a handover ceremony where he replaces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 15, 2019.
Israel has its own version of Napoleon’s famous saying, “Every soldier carries a marshal’s baton in his pack.” In these parts, every general carries a prime minister’s baton — or at least that of a defense minister — in his pack
As Islamist Watch has pointed out many times before, Islam is enormously diverse – containing many competing schools of theology, schools of jurisprudence, sects, ethnicities, cultures and mysticisms. Islamism is also not a single force; it comprises dozens of (both) competing and collaborating radical ideologies.
One of the most intriguing divisions, then, within both American Islam and Islamism of late has been growing dissent over the question of liberalism.
Right after Trump’s inauguration, I ran an article about how incredibly fake the news coverage was about his inauguration. (Those reading my site know I’m not a big Trump fan, but credit where credit is due and calling fake where calling fake is due.) The media was nothing short of spectacularly fake in the news it contrived that week on CNN, the New York Times and the other major fake media, and they mostly got away with it.
It wasn’t condescension or contempt. Recent remarks by former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit reek of racism. That is the proper way to frame them, calling them anything else is letting him off easy. In its classic, formal sense, racism is when a certain social sector perceives itself as superior because of clear racial criteria. Shavit represents an updated version of racism that doesn’t require ethnicity or religion as proof of a defect – you can call it “essential racism.”
Little Napoleon Barak is going to save Israeli Democracy? What a bunch of claptrap Orwellian doublespeak.
Well let’s check out history. How well did the original Napoleon save France’s democratic revolution against the monarchy?
Hmm, if I recall he crowned himself emperor!
For years, the pundits have been telling us that Israeli democracy is in danger because of the Arab birthrate, or because of the Jewish nation-state law, or because of the debates over the powers of Israel’s High Court.
I wonder if they will recognize the danger posed by the 10 left-wing American Jewish organizations that have formed a new umbrella organization, the essential purpose of which is to undermine Israeli democracy.