12 arrested for disrupting speech by Israeli ambassador
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 13:47
U.S., February 10, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) -Twelve people were arrested during a raucous lecture at UC Irvine, California, where Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren came to talk about U.S.-Israel relations.
Oren was interrupted 10 times while trying to give his speech to 500 people at the UCI Student Center, where there was heavy security. Oren took a 20-minute break after the fourth protest, asked for hospitality and resumed his speech, only to be interrupted again by young men yelling at him every few minutes. Many members of the audience also applauded Oren.
After the 10th interruption, several dozen students who opposed Oren got up and walked out to stage a protest outside.
Oren continued talking, completing his speech at 6:42 p.m. Originally, he planned to take questions from the audience. But that was canceled after the repeated protests.
UCI Police Chief Paul Henisey said it is not clear whether any of the protesters were UCI students. UCI Chancellor Michael Drake told the audience he was embarrassed by the outburst. Drake was booed by many people, and applauded by others.
Hours earlier, UCI's Muslim Student Union said in an email today that its members "condemn and oppose the presence of Michael Oren, the ambassador of Israel to the United States, on our campus today. We resent that the Law School and the Political Science Department on our campus have agreed to cosponsor a public figure who represents a state that continues to break international and humanitarian law and is condemned by more UN Human Rights Council resolutions than all other countries in the world combined."
The Jewish Federation Orange County said earlier in the day that it had been informed that Oren's speech at UC Irvine late today might be disrupted by protestors.
This was not the first time there has been confrontation at a political lecture at UCI. In January 2007, Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum was interrupted by protesters at UCI while giving a speech titled "The Threat to Israel's Existence." The protesters ended up getting into a brief shouting match with some members of the audience.
Tags: Gaza, War criminals, Israel, IDF, occupation, blockade, Ethnic cleansing, terrorism, Zionism, propaganda, Media, Palestine, Jews, Christians, Muslims,
Location: Irvine, California, United States (load item map)
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