Powered by WebAds

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oy vey: University of California at Irvine introduces its students to Hamas under Jewish Federation sponsorship

The Olive Tree Initiative aims to promote dialogue about the Middle East by introducing students to neutral Israeli and Arab speakers. Its slogan is 'grassroots dialogue about the Arab-Israeli conflict' and its slick web page features a huge picture of students meeting with someone who looks like a senior IDF officer (although the web site describes him as a soldier). OTI has three chapters - the Universities of California at Irvine, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is already the subject of a federal anti-Semitism complaint, and you all recall what happened when Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Michael Oren tried to speak at Irvine.

But it gets worse.
Perhaps in an effort to be thought of as “fair” or “good,” the organizers of this endeavor made alliances with groups that can only be described as totalitarian.

One of those is the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) — an organization whose name and behavior reeks of the communist fronts of the 1930s. This was the group that — in the name of peace and justice — encouraged Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall and Tristan Anderson to go to Gaza to be killed or injured in violent demonstrations. An Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs report implicates ISM in the Mike’s Place terror attack of 2003. More recently they were spokespeople in the “Free Gaza Flotilla” of May 2010. (Lee Kaplan explains their etiology here.)

Not surprisingly then, many of the supposedly neutral speakers brought to address the students on their overseas trips turned out to be not so neutral after all. One of them was Aziz Duwaik of Hamas, who met with the students in secret inside the West Bank, far from the supposedly-impartial forum of the college campus where such meetings might be deemed appropriate. [Duwaik is the speaker of the 'Palestinian parliament,' which has not met since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007. CiJ]

And here the story turns back to UCI and the education of our children at one of our country’s most esteemed public universities.

From a October 2009 letterjust released via a FOIA – from Jewish Federation of Orange County leaders to UCI Chancellor Michael V. Drake, M. D.
We were further distressed to learn that, ostensibly, the students were asked to keep this meeting a secret. We have been informed, by OTI student participants, that they were instructed by [name redacted] ‘not to tell anyone about’ the meeting with Duwaik. According to the information we received, the students were given two reasons to keep the meeting under wraps: (1) to avoid being detained upon reentering Israel from the West Bank or being held at the airport before leaving the country: (2) to avoid confrontation with anyone who would have disagreed with this meeting had they known about it advance – namely, Orange County Jewish community and leadership, and UCI administration. Yet we know the decision to meet with Duwaik was not made in a vacuum. One UCI faculty member and two UCI doctoral candidates were in charge of arrangements on the ground. [Name redacted] was well aware of Jewish Federation’s ‘red lines’ – what could and could not be done on an OTI trip. Taking UCI to meet a Hamas leader crossed those red lines, and the University and Jewish Federation in a precarious situation. We are deply troubled that this incident could, potentially, derail the substantial progress we have made together in building multicultural bridges at UCI.
No kidding… And no surprise it took a FOIA to get this letter released to the public. (There’s plenty more at the link — including reference to a MSA fundraiser for George Galloway on the campus in May 2009 — and I encourage you to read it.)

But the question arises what was the Jewish Federation and its Rose Project doing writing the chancellor of UCI about this? Well, sad to say. the Jewish Federation of Orange County was one of the sponsors of these trips. Hillel of OC was also involved. The Ha’Emet (“The Truth”) website has plenty more about this, as well as a petition you might want to sign.
Read the whole thing.

And I'm sure you'll all be shocked - just shocked - to hear that OTI is trying to silence its critics.
Look, the Olive Tree Initiative was set up as a front organization for the Muslim Students Association. The MSA in turn is a U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the original ideological and Islamist foundation for Hamas. But everything's so politically correct that it takes Freedom of Information Requests to get the truth out there. Shame on UCI! Faculty and graduate students are organizing student organizing junkets for Palestinian terrorism! Jeez, something's the matter with that, you think? But no, backers of the Olive Tree Initiative are working feverishly to silence critics of the group --- as recently as last week, it turns out. See the Jewish Journal, "Groups clash over public discussion of Olive Tree Initiative."
I am so happy that I don't live in the US and don't have to send my kids to college there....

Labels: , , , , ,


At 1:18 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Truth in advertising...

But don't hold your breath waiting for the Orange County Jewish Federation to acknowledge it.

What could go wrong indeed

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Daniel Wehrentennie
PhD candidate at UCI
Member, Center for Citizen Peacebuilding

He has a German accent - that's an alarming thought. But political correctness will have a German mucking around in an attempt to weaken the position of Jewish civilians under rocket fire... without any mention of the rockets or bombings in civilian areas.

Celebrating Jimmy Carter! Mary Robinson!

Re kids in college in the U.S. - there are some state universities out in flyover country where the families of the students are close by and have kept them from becoming the brainwash gulags that these "name brand" universities have become.


Post a Comment

<< Home