In yet another supremely depressing incident of campus antisemitism – and no, I’m not going to cloak this phenomenon in the guise of “anti-Zionism” – Israeli diplomat George Deek, who is himself a Christian Arab, was shouted down at the University of California at Davis by a shrieking mob of modern-day brownshirts.
Let’s go to the video:
The blurb from Debunk the BDS facebook page didn’t give half the revolting details, and describes the incident in much too mild words for my liking:
Earlier this week, Israeli-Arab diplomat George Deek was shouted down by students affiliated with Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Davis. The SJP members, who called out “Long live the Intifada,” refused to engage with George, who came to Davis to discuss the need for mutual respect, dialogue, and understanding.
Prof. Andrew Pessin, writing in the Algemeiner reported on the incident with much sharper words:
A talk by an Israeli diplomat at the University of California, Davis on Monday was disrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters, The Algemeiner has learned. After unfurling a large banner across the room, the demonstrators chanted “Long live the intifada,” and other slogans, then exited the premises.
George Deek, an Israeli Arab Christian, was speaking on “The Art of Middle East Diplomacy,” when some 30 people moved to the front and sides of the room, according to witnesses and video of the event.
Completely obscuring Deek from the audience, they unfurled an enormous banner across the front of the room that read “1948=1492,” referring to the years of the Israeli War of Independence and the year in which both Columbus discovered America and the Jews were expelled from Spain.
They then began chanting anti-Israel slogans. Upon their exit, they yelled “Allahu Akbar!”
Someone present at the event told The Algemeiner that “there were roughly a dozen uniformed police … They were inside the room, guarding the doors leading in, and patrolling the area around the building. They also escorted Mr. Deek and the pro-Israel students back to the UC Davis Hillel, and waited until everyone had a safe way of getting to their next destination.”
Why didn’t the police stop the protestors in the first place? This is outrageous!
The protestors antisemites laughably shouted that “Israel is an apartheid state” when right there in front of them stood an Arab who is appointed to one of Israel’s prestigious foreign diplomatic posts.
Apartheid?? I don’t think it means what they think it means.
So how do these disgusting, ignorant, bigoted, racist, antisemitic and entirely revolting thugs justify their protest?
We felt a responsibility to reject the Zionist agenda that George Deek furthers — a settler-colonial agenda that is xenophobic, Islamophobic, and anti-Black … We did not participate within the established framework of the event because we are aware of how discourses about “dialogue” and “democracy” function to silence anti-Zionist voices. We recognize that Israel’s voice is already over-represented … and refuse to provide the State another platform through which to normalize colonial violence. We have no more “tolerance” for Israeli propaganda.
George Deek, a self-identified Israeli born to a Palestinian family, perfectly embodies the project of Zionist liberal-democracy, which seeks to assimilate Palestinians into non-existence …
In other words, if you don’t employ Arabs you are Apartheid. And if you do employ Arabs, you are apartheid.. Or in other other words, whatever Israel does, it makes no matter, she is wrong and can never do any right.
There is no point trying to change the minds of these close-minded illberal good-for-nothings, but for those of you who do not know of George Deek, here is a quick summary:
Deek rose to prominence as the Deputy Chief of Mission at Israel’s embassy in Norway from 2012-2015, where he was also chargé d’affaires through much of 2014. As the highest-ranked Israeli diplomat in Norway during Operation Protective Edge — Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza — he was responsible for telling Israel’s side of the story there, often to hostile audiences. Shortly afterward, he began sharing his personal story more widely, presenting his perspective as a Christian, an Arab and an Israeli. He was profiled in 2015 in the Jewish periodical Tablet, and was selected by The Algemeiner as one of the “top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life” of 2014.
His talk at UC Davis was sponsored by the student group, Aggies for Israel, which promoted the event as follows:
[Mr. Deek] talks about a lot of things — geopolitical history, current events, etc. — but the overall theme is why he identifies as an Arab Israeli and not as a Palestinian refugee. He uses his family’s history to weave a story through generations of Arab-Israeli history, ending in present day with what he thinks is possible for the next generation.
Prof. Pessin challenged the University administration on their behaviour during and after this disgusting spectacle and received a very lukewarm response:
The Algemeiner reached out to the UC Davis administration and security services to inquire whether disrupting public lectures was permissible on campus, and whether any disciplinary action would be taken, and received this response from their media relations department:
Aggies for Israel invited the public to this meeting … While there was an interruption at the beginning of the meeting, the group disbursed within a few minutes without incident, and the speaker was able to deliver a talk without interruption. Security was present at the meeting. The safety of our campus community is always our highest concern, and at no time did it appear that any physical altercations occurred … There were no further interruptions or incidents…
The University’s reaction is a disgrace in my opinion, a craven surrender to the bullying tactics so typical of the Left.
Prof. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has more to say on this incident, and on the entire issue of campus antisemitism and intimidation:
Disruption of Israeli or pro-Israel speakers and events is becoming all too common on college campuses, including by groups like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and similar groups. The purpose is to make sure that Israeli and pro-Israel points of view cannot be presented without incident, and to create a campus climate of intimidation.
We have reported on several such recent disruptions, including at University of Minnesota Law School, UT-Austin, Kings College (London), U. Windsor, University of South Florida, and an LGBTQ Shabbat Event in Chicago. Even events that are not disrupted are protested, such as the appearance of actor Michael Douglas and human rights hero Natan Sharansky at Brown University
None of this is really surprising, we have seen increasing aggressiveness by SJP and similar groups out of frustration that their futile student government divestment actions gain them nothing.
That aggressiveness has become racialized through the use of the doctrine of “intersectionality,” which portrays Israeli Jews as at the center of all struggles of non-whites in the U.S. and elsewhere. The Jew thus is demonized as the cause of evil in the world, as reflected in the writings of “pro-Palestinian” activists like Oberlin professor Joy Karega:
UC Davis, as at many of the UC campuses, finds anti-Israel activity expressly based on religion, with Islamic chants mixed in with the anti-Israel activism — so it’s impossible to claim with a straight face that it is not anti-Semitic. At a UC-Davis divestment vote, chants of “Allahu Akbar” also were heard:
The question is, when will university officials protect the right of speakers to appear without physical intimidation and disruption. It’s one thing to protest an appearance outside the room, it’s another to disrupt the presentation and take over the stage.
Prof. Jacobson received the same milquetoast response from the University as that received by Prof. Pessin at the Algemeiner.
Some of the comments at Legal Insurrection were very pertinent and express my sentiments exactly:
[locomotivebreath1901] Fenn’s Law in action: “Liberals don’t truly believe in the things they lecture about to the rest us.”
Apparently, there is no ‘safe space’ available for Jewish students or pro-Israel speakers on America’ uber-leftist diversiversity campii.
And if these islamist scum are students, why are they not expelled?