Friday, September 23, 2011

jury finds muslim students must be nice to israeli ambassador

a group of muslim students at a california university shouted responses to the israeli ambassador during a lecture, and then were found guilty of conspiring to disrupt the ambassador's speech:

Jury: Muslim students guilty of disrupting speech: "Jurors found 10 Muslim students guilty Friday of disrupting a lecture by the Israeli ambassador at a California university in a case that stoked a spirited debate about free speech.

Jurors delivered the verdicts in Orange County Superior Court in the case involving a speech by Ambassador Michael Oren in February 2010 at the University of California, Irvine.

The students were also convicted of conspiring to disrupt Oren's speech.

The students were charged with misdemeanor counts after standing up, one by one, and shouting prepared statements at Oren such as "propagating murder is not an expression of free speech.""

it's probably going to be played in the "legitimate" press as an issue of civility, and the students will be cast as uncivilized and a threat to our "shared values" with the israeli state. that's par for the course.

hopefully the students realize that your win some, and you lose some, but when it comes to fighting the kind of institutional injustice that characterizes the treatment of palestinians by israel, and the US' enabling of the criminal regime in tel aviv, it usually requires civil disobedience in order to bring about change. this is a long-festering issue, and up until now the winners seem hold all the cards, but appearances can be deceiving, and the occupation regime over jerusalem is not as iron-clad and unshakable as the powers that be try to portray.

it will require continued resistance, and the students -- who unfortunately are only muslims this time -- must not give up. keep working it, guys. the questions hurled at the ambassador deserve an answer, so they need to continue to be asked, even if the authorities will prosecute you.

that's how you will know that you are winning, after all!

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