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Dialogue and Deceit
by Nichole Hungerford
It should also be no surprise that where the views of Israel-demonizers have been brought into legitimate debate, the discourse has accordingly become more acerbic and hateful. This, in fact, has proven true at UC Irvine. In 2010, a talk by Michael Oren, ambassador of Israel to the U.S., was momentarily overtaken by a mob of anti-Israel students, who had to be forcibly removed from the event — but not before hurling accusations of Israeli-perpetrated genocide and intimidation the ambassador into silence. The incident made national news and disgraced the university. UC Irvine is part of a growing number of colleges hosting the misinformation campaign known as "Israel Apartheid Week" and whose student governments are considering divestment of university funds from Israel, a process in which external anti-Israeli organizations are often actively involved.
More than mere anti-Israelism, these "Israel Apartheid Weeks" are often harbingers of naked anti-Semitism — sometimes in such an extreme form, it bears comparison to the darkest eras of Jew-hatred in modern history. Gary Fouse, adjunct teacher at the UC Irvine, has observed that anti-Semitic activity is rare at Irvine, but it peaks during the annual Israel Apartheid Week or when anti-Israel speakers are invited to the campus. One speaker such, Imam Muhammad Al-Asi, said to his Irvine audience in 2001:
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