Wiesenthal Center Calls Alleged Disruption of Pro-Israel Event at UC Irvine, “An Example of a Disturbing National Trend…”

May 20, 2016

In wake of Wednesday’s incident at the University of California Irvine (UCI) where a mob of protestors, shouting profanities against Israel, allegedly tried to disrupt a screening of a documentary about the Israeli Defense Forces. One eyewitness reported that the door needed to be blocked to keep the disrupters from entering the room where the screening was held. The eyewitness said that they felt threatened enough that campus police needed to be summoned.

“Wednesday’s incident is an example of a disturbing national trend where Jewish and pro-Israel students cannot stage pro-Israel events without police protection,” said Aron Hier, who heads the Wiesenthal Center’s Campus Outreach. Hier alerted UCI’s Chancellor, Howard Gillman last week that these disruptions were on the rise, and cited a recent incident at San Francisco State.

“We urge anyone in attendance to immediately file an official complaint with the requisite authorities,” Hier added.

In 2011, Wiesenthal Center officials met with the Orange County District Attorney’s office immediately following the disruption of a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren on the UC Irvine campus. Ten of the eleven perpetrators were ultimately convicted in Orange County court.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036. Join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).