On May 10, Students for Justice in Palestine disrupted a pro-Israel event at UC Irvine with hateful shouting and vitriolic chants, preventing IDF reservists from continuing with the panel until the group left. As a result, the campus administration slapped SJP with a two-year probation and affirmed the university’s commitment to “protect everyone’s right to express themselves without disruption.”
Meanwhile, a Los Angeles Times article about the university’s decision to sanction the group for its attempts to drown out others’ voices in violation of university policy gave voice to only one side: Students for Justice in Palestine.
The one-sided Sept. 4 article (online only) entitled “Pro-Palestinian UCI students appeal sanctions after Israeli event protest” dedicated three out of seven paragraphs to statements provided by SJP. It reported:
In a statement, representatives for the group said that their clapping and chanting at the event — sponsored by Students Supporting Israel — was in response to aggressive behavior by a member of the soldiers’ group.
“It’s outrageous that the university is punishing us, students, instead of protecting us from aggressive foreign military agents on campus,” Daniel Carnie, a Jewish UCI students, said in a statement. “We’re a diverse group of Palestinian, black, Latino and Jewish students who attended the soldiers’ speaking event and asked critical questions.” . . .
Students for Justice in Palestine said its members have been harassed and cyber-bullied since the event; the group said it has filed a discrimination complaint.
In contrast, Los Angeles Times reporter Hillary Davis devoted not one sentence to panelists representing Reservists on Duty, or to representatives from Students Supporting Israel, which hosted the event. Nor did she convey the views of pro-Israel students who attended. Had she done so, she might have spoken with panelist Jonathan Elkhoury, an Israeli Arab from Reservists on Duty, who reported to CAMERA:
We were yelled and cursed at, and one of our female delegation participants was spat on by an SJP member. They came to our event to shut it down, an SJP representative said it herself while yelling into a microphone the next day. We had to have them escort us off campus because the SJP students made it impossible for us to leave the class safely.
Moreover, Davis failed to give readers any information about the nature of the vitriolic chanting by SJP members. Plenty of video documentation of the disruption is available exposing the ugliness of the SJP’s chants (“These colonizers and occupiers! You should not be on our f****** campus”; . . . “F*** you!” . . . “Israel, Israel you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” . . . “Long live the intifada!” . . . “Israel, Israel what you say? How many people did you kill today?”)
CAMERA has contacted The Times, urging editors to add comment from representatives from Reservists on Duty, from Students Supporting Israel and/or pro-Israel students who were subjected to the hateful SJP demonstration. CAMERA also called on The Los Angeles Times to add video of the demonstration, enabling readers to decide for themselves who exactly engaged in “aggressive behavior.”