UCI administrators had every reason to suspect trouble, yet did little or nothing to prevent it. Neither did they stop it once it began. At least one reliable organization gave UCI advance warning of the protest and how it would be orchestrated. Prior to Ambassador Oren's arrival, UCI MSU wrote a protest letter published in the school paper and on its own website.
For years, UCI MSU has sponsored a one week pro-Palestinian/virulently anti-Israel demonstration/fair. Recently it's grown to a two-week fair. Intolerance used to rule the day. Now, it rules the fortnight. Imported Arab and other speakers are viciously propagandistic. The hyperbole has increased year by year but there have been no shout downs. The MSU receives more tolerance than it is willing to give. The administration approves of this sort of free speech. For more than a year, the UCI administration has been "investigating" that certain MSU speakers publicly solicited, then forwarded, donations to Hamas. If true, this violates UCI regulations -- and federal law.
Readers of this column need to watch this five-minute video and ask themselves whether this looks more like a university in Iran than a university in California:
The UCI chancellor's contact information follows for those who wish to express concern for what they saw on the video:
Chancellor Michael Drake
University of California, Irvine
Office of the Chancellor
Irvine, CA 92697-5125
To date, I’ve seen nothing about this in the main edition of the Los Angeles Times. But suppose the Syrian ambassador had been interrupted just once by the Jewish Student Association. Do you think they would have found that newsworthy? I’m just wondering.