Studies show that US coverage is Israeli-centric. The main bureaus for CNN, Associated Press, Time, etc. are located in Israel and often staffed by Israelis. The son of the NY Times bureau chief is in the Israeli army;"pundit" Jeffrey Goldberg served in the IDF; Wolf Blitzer worked for AIPAC. Because the U.S. gives Israel over $8 million/day - more than to any other nation - we feel it is essential that we be fully informed on this region. Below are news reports to augment mainstream coverage.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Students organize campaign to defend 'Irvine 11'

On February 8th, 2010, Michael Oren, ambassador of Israel to the United States, was invited to speak on US-Israeli relations at UC Irvine. At the event, 10 students individually spoke out during Oren’s speech and were arrested. An eleventh student was arrested as he attempted... to leave the room along with a number of other students. All eleven students acted peacefully and did not resist arrest. In fact, no person or property was damaged in the course of the protest and Oren was able to complete his speech.

The Irvine 11 have already been subjected to extensive administrative proceedings and possibly sanctions by the university administration. The nature of that information is secret, but what is known is that the Muslim Student Union (MSU) at UCI was sanctioned by the university, receiving a one quarter suspension and probation for two academic years.

Despite the university’s internal proceedings, the Orange County District Attorney (District Attorney Tony Rackauckashas) subpoenaed six UCI Muslim students and compelled them to testify before a grand jury. A grand jury, with its secrecy provisions, can only exacerbate fear and division among the students at the University.

The apparent intention of the Orange County District Attorney to file criminal charges, possibly felony charges, against the Irvine 11, and possibly against other students including those subpoenaed, is excessive in extreme. Not only is the possibility of criminal charges extreme, but it also unprecedented and creates a chilling effect on student activism and student protest nationwide. Universities have the cherished tradition of being free marketplaces of ideas where students are encouraged to voice their opinions on a range of significant issues. For this reason, it is highly unjust and vindictive to criminally reprimand students for protesting in a non-violent and non-threatening manner.