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AJC Denounces University’s Lack of Response to “Holocaust in the Holy Land”

May 26, 2006 – Irvine, California – The American Jewish Committee’s Orange County Chapter has called upon University of California, Irvine (UCI) Chancellor Michael V. Drake to denounce the bigotry and hatred of a recent campus program sponsored by the university’s Muslim Student Union with titles such as “Holocaust in the Holy Landâ€? and “Israel: The Fourth Reich.â€?

“While we agree with the University that academic freedom allows such programs to occur, in our view the freedom to speak is not a freedom from criticism,” said Rabbi Marc Dworkin, executive director of AJC’s Orange County Chapter. “When speech clearly becomes dehumanizing, demonizing and bigoted, academic freedom creates a duty for the university to speak out, not only affirming the right to hold such meetings but also denouncing bigotry and insuring that everyone understands that the hatred promoted is not shared by the university at large.”

Titles of the program were overtly bigoted, as were statements made at the conference. Israelis and supporters of Israel were called “new Nazis.â€? One speaker said, “They say it’s anti-Semitic if you say that the Zionists control the media. You better get outta here, ‘ol Rupert [Murdoch]’s a straight up Zionist Jew…[Y]our days are numbered. We will fight you. We will fight you until we are either martyred or until we are victorious.â€?