The Conspiracy

IAW starts early with a mic-check and some pepper spray [Israeli Apartheid Week]

Israeli Apartheid Week began on Sunday. But some pro-Israel protesters at the University of California, Berkeley got started a day early, pepper spraying some folks on Saturday. Not to be outdone, a group of anti-Israel students mic-checked a speaker at the University of New Mexico on Thursday (see above video).

On Thursday, protesters interrupted a talk by Nonie Darwish, an Egyptian American who founded something called Arabs for Israel. According to the student who posted the video above, the lecture “was attend by some UNM students who exercised their right to freedom of speech by vocally protesting the against the opinions put forward.” The students drowned out the lecture by shouting that Darwish supports Israeli apartheid (not unusual, given the season) and even Israeli “genocide” of the Palestinians. (Seriously?)

Then “a number of audience members proceeded to get out of their seats and use force against the students. One of the students was hit in the face, another had her hair pulled, and many were pushed and shoved. One of the students caught much of these events on film before another audience member forcibly pushed down her camera.”

It’s pretty unclear from the video exactly what’s going on, but it definitely wasn’t pretty. The YouTube user who posted the video, Dizzyana, continues, saying “it is a shock” — a shock, I say! — “that a non-violent action was met with such aggression.”

Not that the old Jews (I’m just assuming here, obviously) in the room made anything less than a spectacle of themselves in their reactions, but I’m not sure what the protesters expected. Come into a room full of religious people and start shouting offensive things at them and it’s pretty clear that the whole point is to have a confrontation.

Meanwhile, in Berkeley, The Daily Californian reports, some anti-Israel protesters and some pro-Israel counter-protesters got into a bit of a scuffle that eventually escalated to pepper spray levels. The pro-Israel folks were the ones wielding the pepper spray, but they only sprayed “three people not involved with either side of the protest [who] tried to mediate the situation.” Because of that, writes The Daily Cal, the police aren’t considering it a hate crime.



2 Older Responses to “IAW starts early with a mic-check and some pepper spray [Israeli Apartheid Week]”

  1. howiej
    March 2, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    If one is paying attention, the “peaceful” individuals expressing their “freedom of speech” have taken away the freedom of speech from Ms. Darwish. The actions of this group was not non-violent. Their interruptions and what was shouted must be considered violence they were designed to bring about confrontation between those who came to hear the speaker and those not wanting her to be heard. It is interesting that the students shouting out against Israel and the speaker had to read what they were shouting from a piece of paper. The filming was not a spur of the moment activity. The filming took place from a position where the camera was away from the group but close enough to take good film of what went on.
    To describe the organization called, “Arabs for Israel,” as, “… something called Arabs for Israel…” might point the reader to a bias by the author.

  2. David H.
    March 11, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    rest assured the 3 guys who got pepper sprayed were not at all acting as mediators. one of them was brandishing a large stick about the size of a human leg among other things.

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