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DA Investigates UC Irvine Students Over Violent Anti-Israel Protests

TEL AVIV – The Orange County District Attorney’s office is investigating a violent protest held by the University of California’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter in May, in which demonstrators shouted profanities at both UC Irvine Police and pro-Israel activists. 

On May 21, Breitbart reported that anti-Israel student protesters disrupted a Student’s Supporting Israel (SSI) screening of an Israeli film about the IDF, shouting invectives including, “Intifada, Intifada, long live the Intifada,” “f**k the police,” “f**k Israel,”  “displacing people since ‘48/ there’s nothing here to celebrate,” and “all white people need to die.”

The DA is investigating whether any criminal behavior occurred. UCI has also said they are conducting an investigation of the case. UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman said in May that the incident “crossed the line of civility” and added that the administration is “investigating whether disciplinary or legal actions are appropriate.”

One female student said she was harassed and chased, forcing her to hide out in a nearby building.

California College Republicans Southern Region’s vice chair and Chairman Emeritus of the College Republicans at UCI Robert Petrosyan told Breitbart that the screening “was a relatively low-key event and that the anti-Israel protesters decided to go and overwhelm them by chanting hateful slogans.”

“My personal view is that every group has a right to protest and exercise free speech, but the way these students were behaving was not to exercise free speech but to suppress the free speech of the pro-Israel students and to stop people from being able to hear their movie,” Petrosyan told Breitbart.

He added, “Blocking the doors to the room — that is a safety hazard.”

DA spokesperson Roxi Fyad told Campus Reform that the case was passed along by a third party to the DA’s office.

In May, SJP praised the protest because “the presence of the IDF, better known as Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), and police threatened our coalition of Arab, Jewish, Black, Latino, API, undocumented, trans, and queer students and the greater activist community. Our demonstration was held to protest the presence of military and police forces on campus, which threaten the lives of Black and Brown people every day.”

UCI has been a hotbed for antisemitic activities for some time. In 2010, a speech given to the university’s pro-Israel students by then-Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren was disrupted by Muslim students looking to silence Oren, leading to several arrests.

Last year, Breitbart reported that members of the university’s student government voted in favor of banning the American flag from their building’s lobby because it “triggered” hurt feelings among illegal aliens.

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