Thursday, February 11, 2010

Israeli Ambassador Heckled While Speaking at The University of California (Irvine)

I have said it before and I will say it again; when your only winning argument is to prevent the other side from speaking you have already lost. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren was shouted down a number of times while trying to speaking at the University of California (Irvine). Eleven people were arrested for the disruptions. There is some indication that that the disruption was done in line with the campus's Muslim Student Union, but evidence of the connection is tenuous at best; just a parroting or the same line they used.

As bad as Oren had it, at least no one ran at him screaming "Itbah Al-Yahud" (Arabic for "Slaughter the Jews") (via) as happened to Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister at Oxford.

Video embedded below.


  1. do you have his book, 1967? its actually a pretty good history of the war from the that perspective I feel like you'd like it.

    I got to meet Mr. Oren when he came to penn to speak a year ago. I'll never forget the conversation.

    "Mr. Oren, as a jew, what if any responsibilty do you think we bare for the plight of the palestinians?"

    "well, thats a good question, the truth is the palestinians elected their leaders or don't do enough to halt terrorism against Isreal and so they have to accept the possible ramifications of a decision like that."

    "Well, its interesting the average age in the Gaza strip is 17, so these are basically kids and only something like 5 percent of the palestinian population actually voted for Hamas, I know I don't want to be held personally accountable for all the actions of the U.S. government. So what i'm wondering is if when the palestinians shoot rockets into Isreal and kill 13 people and claim they were justified because its "self-defense" why do you think Isreal is then justified to kill 1300 people and then tell the world that its "self-defense?"

    "Well there was a vote."

    "you know part of the reason Osama Bin-Laden belives he is justified in killing Americans is because we nominally elect our leaders."

    "Your family must be so ashamed of a self-hating Jew like you."

    at what point do you think I decided that Mike Oren was "losing the argument"?

    If the leaders of Hamas come to the United States or anywhere they should we heckled, shunned,shamed if not put on trial for war crimes. So should a propagandist and an apologist for terror like Oren.

    I recomend you read it in full. If you just google "Goldstone report" a bunch of front sites put up by the Isreali government will come up basically all insinuating that Richard Goldstone too is a secret anti-semite.

  2. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - he started to lose right at the end there when he went personal. Not sure why he would though as he was no where close to actually losing the real argument; nor was he cornered.

    As for heckling Hamas; if you invite them to speak you should listen, then counter/debate. Oren and Hamas are not comparable, not even close.

  3. So while i admire the idealistic view about "debate", the reality is you probably would waste your time "debateing" with a stalinist- besides, what do you really think your accomplishing in the world by "debating" such a person and giving them the flattery of power. Its a pretty authoritarian world where powerful people can do whatever they want and think they are outside the bounds of human reaction and social life, as if immune to the repercussions of their actions in life because by virtue of their opinion or status they are then exempt from being treated like anyone else would be treated if they are an accomplice to a war crime.

  4. Do we know the names of these hecklers? Publish them please. They should be expelled.

  5. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - I will reconcile it for you, Israel does not intentionally target civilians. I still say if you invite someone to talk you should be respectful about it. If you think a possession is so meritless as to not be worthy of debate then you should not have invited them.

    @Anonymous - I have not seen their names, but as they were arrested I assume that it is public information (as long as they are not under age.

  6. If you want to man up and actually read the documentation of Isreali War crimes instead of for some reason taking it upon yourself to apologize for them I think it would do you some good, The URL is still on this page. I'm sure you naively believe Isreal doesn't target civilians, because to accept the truth of the matter would mean you'd have to admit you were wrong, and wrong while defending war crimes. Since you have a habit of stating things that are wrong about with alot of certainty I can see how that would be difficult for you.

    If you knew what you were talking about you would know that the assertion "Isreal does not intentionally target civilians" is as convincing as the idea that when hamas fired rockets into Isreal they had no idea civilians may get killed. I dont think you would try to defend the way the Nazis "defended" themselves against partisans in world war two- yet you so strongly identify yourself with the ethno-nationalism surrounding a state that you would defend it killing people as long as its no one you know, care about or identify with yourself.

    You may have a point about Oren, as long as he's an apologist for war crimes, self-respecting universities probably shouldn't feel the need to give him the flattery of someone respectable.

  7. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - I am not apologizing for Israel; no apology is needed because they do not target civilians. They actually put their own soldiers in harms way and telegraph their plans to Hamas warning the civilians to get out of the way. Hamas on the other hand does target civilians and hides among them using the people they claim to be helping as human shields.

    You know that I was in no way advocating an isolation of Israel, and comparisons between the Israelis and the kkk/Nazi's/Hamas is not only a merit-less position but crosses the line to foolishness.

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  10. No, thats just a lie. read the report. Infrastrucure and buildings of dubious or no military value were targeted. The attack occured at the middle of the day when people were out going to school or work. The deaths of 1300 civilians was a predictable outcome of the bombing and even if Isreal telegraphs plans to attack its hard to see what difference that makes in a piece of land the size of Gaza with that much concentration of a population. Besides, even if people were aware of the attack its not like they really could have gone anywhere, Isreal blockades the Gaza strip from all sides and the Sea.

    If your not advocating the further isolation of Isreal as a pariah state, its hard for me to see how you think committing war crimes (or denying the occurrence of war crimes) is going to fix that situation. To say "1300" deaths is an "unitended consequence" people should just forget about like Mike Oren does is at the very least a pretty vicious insult to people's intelligence. These aren't dogs, they are people- also people Isreal doesn't give civil rights to. Personally I wouldn't accept that kind of explanation if somone in my family or one of my friends was bombed, no one should. And in a state with the military capabilities, as well as the detterent threat implicit with U.S. support that Isreal enjoys, I think its pretty unconvincing that hamas or Iran for that matter are genocidal threats to Isreal. Isreal is the state with an actual nuclear weapon in the middle east.

    Unfortunatly it isn't meritless, but more and more the consensus. Isreal does alot to provide security and a good standard of living to people but also behaves like terrorists do. Hamas, provides all the hospital services, food kitchens and aid to a desperate people, yet also behaves like terrorists. If its only foolish to make the comparison becuase its us (Isreal with the support of the U.S.) commiting the war crimes, then thats not something I think we can justify to people, nor should we expect Isreal's acceptance anytime soon. Instead sadly this blind advocacy of Isreal's expansion and terror over its security will likely hasten its demise.

  11. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - I agree that the deaths were as predictable as they were tragic, but the reason they were predictable has nothing to do with the silly notion that Israel was targeting them; it is because Hamas used them as human shields after provoking the attack. Watch this clip. I keep hearing how densely populated Gaza is, how strong and effective Israel's military is, and how Israel is trying to kill civilians. At least one of those things has to be wrong.

    "Isreal blockades the Gaza strip from all sides and the Sea." - Forgetting about Egypt are we? Also forgetting about Israel letting supplies into Gaza during the conflict. How many other wars has that happened in?

    "Infrastrucure and buildings of dubious or no military value were targeted." - I am curious to know what buildings you would have considered acceptable. The major hospital with the sick and injured above that Hamas used as its head quarters, Mosques they stored weapons in, buildings the fired rockets from while forcing civilians to remain in there with them...?

    I do not deny that war crimes were committed; I am just informing you that they were committed by Hamas. Erroneously accusing Israel of war crimes is not going to 'fix the situation'. How about we start with Hamas amending its founding charter and removing the commitment to 'push the Jews into the sea'. Even if they are not going to stop their terrorist attacks, at least pretending they will would be a nice step. Then they could stop trying to kill Israeli civilians and a real peace dialog could pick up steam.

  12. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - Israel did let supplies in, and did find non humanitarian in the supplies some groups were trying to chip in.

    Israel bombed legitimate targets, but not all of them because of the use of human shields. The did act to minimize collateral damage, but some is unavoidable. It was not a slaughter.

    I have said it before; Israel has one of the strongest militarizes in the world, the population of Gaza has increased dramatically, Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians. One of those statements has to be wrong. You know which one I think is wrong, which one do you?

  13. Andrew, I'm really starting to feel like you don't know what your talking about, and your picking tidbits of facts maybe to justify how you want to feel about this, because the total reality of it is like too much or something. Instead of just taking it from government officials who happen to be Israeli and fanatical Israel supporters in the U.S. try to be honest about your facts. Try actually reading the report.

    Or any report, such as Amnesty International:Israel's use of white phosphorus against Gaza civilians is "clear and undeniable," AI reported, condemning its repeated use in densely populated civilian areas as "a war crime." AI investigators found white phosphorus edges scattered around residential buildings, still burning, "further endangering the residents and their property," particularly children "drawn to the detritus of war and often unaware of the danger." Primary targets, they report, were the UNRWA compound, where the Israeli "white phosphorus landed next to some fuel trucks and caused a large fire which destroyed tons of humanitarian aid" after Israeli authorities "had given assurance that no further strikes would be launched on the compound." On the same day, "a white phosphorus shell landed in the al-Quds hospital in Gaza City also causing a fire which forced hospital staff to evacuate the patients... White phosphorus landing on skin can burn deep through muscle and into the bone, continuing to burn unless deprived of oxygen."

    You either have to be purposely trying to kill people, or you must be so indifferent to their lives that you are a depraved human being to think that's ok- its not. thats just a taste of what your choosing to deny right now. And you have to be in denial to think that Israel "letting supplies in" after letting phosphorus in should mean anything to anyone.

    even still, I wouldn't characterize it as genocide, but given the history I can understand how people can make a comparison like that.

    Considering how Right-wing zionism is all about erasing the palestinians from history. Deny the Nakba in 1948, Deny Deir Yassin, Deny civil rights, deny reparations, deny the right to return, deny there are even palestinians, but just arabs, deny any legitimate national aspirations, deny deny deny.

    Besides, how is having the stronger military and war crimes mutually exclusive? It's not in fact historically it tends to go hand in hand. You just can't accept for some reason that war crimes are being committed and thats kind of sad in my view. I think its pretty obvious that the higher birthrates of the Palestinians is causing alot of anxiety for the racists running Israel right now. Israel has six million and its growth is slowing, they have built a virtual prison around 9 million palestinians whose birth rates are growing. Mike Oren calls this a "demographic threat" to Israel. People used to say that Chinese immigration to the U.S. is a demographic threat, we know what to think of that- its racist.

    and the problem with racism is not just a moral one, its also a strategic one. It leads you to conclusions that are wrong. Such as the idea that Operation Cast Lead is a good one, or that one day the Palestinians will pick up and leave, or that the corrupt arab dictatorships will pay to take them in. Whats unclear isn't that Israel is a terrorist state, whats unclear is whether they really think they can exist as a national entity for another 50 years.

    This was a slaughter, more then half the people killed were women and children. According to Israel everyone in Gaza is a human shield protecting Hamas, but I don't think you'll stop makng that baseless argument either


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