A Cafe Intifada response to demands made by Stand With Us*
This week, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren spoke as a guest of the UC Irvine Law School. Eleven students were arrested and may yet be EXPELLED because each uttered one sentence and then walking peacefully out of the hall.
Zionist, right wing organization, “Stand With Us” frequently visiting upon events and demonstrations in Los Angeles, with provocative signs and disruptive tactics, including heckling and even acts of violence, condemns these students for their outbursts, suggests shutting down the Muslim Student Union for its “obvious” leadership and demands disciplinary actions against the students.
The article asserts:
“The main lesson from Ambassador Oren is that we must stand up with dignity and eloquence for free speech. If we do not, if speakers give up and walk off the stage, we risk sacrificing the civil dialogue essential to education and a bedrock of American values. ”
But what is the record of “Stand With Us” when it comes to free speech?
Some of their recent activities and advocacy includes:
Blanket support for Israeli brutality including Operation Cast Lead -Israel’s invasion of Gaza last year- included in the devastation and death, was the destruction of over 200 schools. What disciplinary actions should be taken for that breech of free speech in an educational environment? On this, Stand With Us stands with the Israeli military and the Israeli government in shutting down and discrediting the Goldstone report.
Stand With Us hosts a covert web page (Stand 4 Facts) on activists and speakers to be used to contradict, disrupt and even prevent events from occurring on campus and to monitor those who would raise criticism of Israeli brutality.
(My dossier, the last time I had access, was 61 pages long! –with privatized espionage, there is NO freedom of information act!!!)
It uses this dossier to defame and discredit activists and educators. Stand With Us was part of the contingent that DEMANDED that United Teachers Los Angeles President Duffy cancel a meeting hosted by the Human Rights Committee to DISCUSS boycott sanctions and divestiture from Israel. That is, they felt that ANY discussion of this matter should not be allowed within a democratic union. Along with the rest of the contingent that pressured the union, they demanded that the union disassociate from the groups sponsoring the event, INCLUDING UTLA MEMBERS!
Stand With Us shelters these demands by insisting that events be “balanced” and not “promote only one extreme view” But of course neither offiers nor demands any balance to a speech by the Ambassador from Israel, or the curricular materials and leaflets Stand with Us provides to educators and students.
Stand With Us was instrumental in the attacks against Professor Robinson at UCSB, stating “This case is a litmus test of whether professors can exploit their positions of authority to impose their political prejudices on students or whether the university truly will remain a place where all points of view can be comfortably and responsibly discussed.”
So– let get this straight!!!
When a law school sponsors a speaker who is the ambassador of a country, framed by security, police and University dignitaries, what HE has to say is protected speech, but when a university professor includes a photo essay in his supplemental material, it “exploit(s) their positions of authority to impose their political prejudices on students.”
Stand With Us worked closely with Harvard Law Professor, and slime ball legal advocate for wealthy violent men who kill their wives, Alan Dershowitz in convincing De Paul University to deny tenure to Norman Finklestein, and continues to discredit Finkelstein, while collaborating with Dershowitz to pressure Hampshire College trustees to violate the college’s socially responsible investment policy that by definition, excludes companies complicit in Israeli human rights violations.
And they were front and center in the effort strip an L.A. County Commission on Human Relations award from Maher Hathout, a founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
Not only does Stand With Us, NOT support free speech, open dialogue, respectful behavior or the free flow of ideas, but in addition to promoting the most brutal of Israeli policies, attempting to discredit ANY critics, attacking free speech and academic freedom, disrupting rallies and community events, Stand With Us. (along with their close affiliates- the ADL, the Simon Weisenthal Center, etc) in their effort to maintain the illusion of one Jewish voice, and the control of the narrative, are actually more instrumental in silencing Jewish voices (of dissent) than any non-Jewish organizations or entities within the United States.—so NOW who’s the anti-semite!!???
Groups like Stand With Us set dangerous precedent, which is my main assertion—that these shills for Zion, actually have a more sinister role to play in the body politic closely aligned with privatization, attacks on democracy, U.S. empire, attacks on education, labor, the left and progressive efforts in general. They may wrap themselves in the memories and the fallout of the Shoah, manipulate with accusations of anti-Semitism, and engage in and appeal to ethnic nationalism, but theirs is a much larger social agenda . This isn’t JUST about Israel.
It’s about academic freedom.
It’s about free speech.
It’s about who controls dialogue and narrative.
It’s about democracy, hegemony and inevitably, U.S. Empire.
These eleven students, each, have been detained for simply shouting their opinions (not threats, not fire, just a point of view) in a public arena and walking out of the room!!! While the collective impact may have been distressing for some of the event participants, the idea that a student in a university might be expelled or arrested for simply yelling briefly at an event should offend us all!
Readers are encourage to contact the University and demand that these students experience no more violations of their rights, that all charges be dropped and that no disciplinary action taken.
Contact UCI Chancellor Michael Drake and the Dean of Students to voice your opposition to UCI’s treatment of students who practiced their First Amendment right and ensure they are not punished for peacefully voicing their opposition.
Chancellor Michael Drake Telephone: (949)824-5011 Email: email@example.com
Acting Dean of Students Rameen Talesh Telephone: (949)824-5181 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the Stand With Us article referenced in this post: