Following are impressions of the anti-Zionist hate fest held at UC Irvine recently, by an attendee. The title of this gathering was "Holocaust in the Holyland." Perhaps that is what some of these people are trying to promote, though that was not the impression they wanted to convey in choosing that title. The opinions and impressions are those of the author. This letter and the protest it helped evoke are discussed in an article in the Forward, (click here.) -- Ami Isseroff
I am the Associate Director of the American Jewish Congress in Los Angeles. I spent three days at UC Irvine to witness the hate speech and gross misrepresentations of Jews, Israeli's Americans and Zionists at the "Holocaust in the Holyland" week. I listened to the horrific lies of Norman Finkelstein under the guise of him being historian. I heard Malik Ali talk about extermination of Jews in Israel, short of saying kill, he used terms like "eliminate" when discussing Israel. I was followed by the campus police, and watched by the administration, so that I could not openly speak out, or disagee with a blatant lies made about history, or Jews. At the end of Malik Ali's hate speech, I finally had enough, and trying to get him to publically say it was about "the Jews" and not "those people" I was shouted down by repeated "Allah Akbars" and laughter.
I understood that day, standing alone what it felt like to be a Jew in pre-war Germany. I understood how fearful the hostages in Iran must have felt when the US Embassy was taken over. And I understand the double standards that are used when the UCI administration is supposed to take a position to facilitate peaceful dialogue. I witnessed the suppression of my freedom of speech for three days, until the very end when I could no longer stay silent. I listened to three long tedious hours of Norman Finkelstein, who mocks the Holocaust Industry, however has made a living on ...guess what, The Holocaust Industry! His denial of the true implications of mass murder committed by the Nazis is overshadowed by his hatred of being a Jew himself.
I heard about "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide" however, no one could answer why the Palestinian population has quadrupled since 1948. I heard statements like "Zionism is not Judaism" by "Rabbi's" from Neturei Karta... They recently met with Iran's leader (go to MEMRI
to see the clip) and called for the end to the Jewish State and Zionism. Just think, the MSU found a "sect" of Jews who number about 2000 more or less, to speak the "truth" for over 15,000,000 people. There will always be useful idiots to speak for the enemy, and the MSU has found a coterie that they parade around from campus to campus, with the same tired speeches from last year. In fact, I can even quote Finkelstein's speech verbatim. You would think that for the $5,000.00 fee , hotel, food and airfare, Norman could at least come up with another speech, leaving out the "Ma, I found it I found it" lines in reference to his finding flaws with Joan Peters' book "In Time Immemorial". This speech is neither cute or funny. It is just feeding fuel to a crowd thirsty to hear a Jew talking about Jews and say things they cannot say.
As for Malik ALi, I just wonder what the University would do, if I substituted the words "Jew" and "Zionist" for "black" and "colored" in his rhetoric. I would be attacked, called a racist, and the NAACP and ACLU would be all over me. However, it is "de rigeur"
to say outwardly things about Jews that were once said in private. I find the use of the freedoms of a democracy based on Judeo Christian values to perpetrate hatred under the guise of freedom... absurd.
I was with an associate, and after I was escorted from the area behind the "apartheid wall" to sing with the supporters of Israel, we chatted with one of the campus police. My friend asked if this was a rough event to cover, as it was contentious and very hostile. The campus officer said, "Protecting the MSU is easier than than the Campus Republicans". How very sad. Conservatives on this campus are treated with more hatred than students who wear Kaffias and support Iran and its daily calls to eliminate not only Israel, but the United States of America. I wonder to whom these students give their loyalty. Iran? Syria? North Korea? Is this the new radical chic?
I am saddened not only by the lack of historical context, education and truthful information that these students have, especially in light of their being students at a very prestigious university. I am saddened by the loss of innocence, the lack of respect, and the decline, as they say, of western civilization.
I hold the administration of this University responsible, especially Manuel Gomez, Sally Peterson and the new Chancellor. After repeated attempts to make our position heard, clearly it was just a token to listen to us, appeasement, and a lack of respect for Jews and Israeli's worldwide. Their lack of actions spoke louder than the amplified "Allah Akbars," and their support of hate is something I never learned in History 101. Shame on the university, and shame on the parents and religious centers that preach hate and death! And to top this off, we get to see the Green HAMAS shehada scarfs all over again at graduation. I guess after all these years, we have truly not made any movement towards peace, reconcillation, and respect for others who may not share the same values. This is truly very very sad.
Allyson Rowen Taylor
Associate Director, American Jewish Congress, Western Region
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