JVP Statement on Irvine 11 verdict
This is a shameful day for the legal system and the Jewish communal leaders who actively supported this unfair railroading of young Muslim students and unprecedented attack on everyone's right to free speech. How can it be that the Israeli ambassador enjoys more rights in the United States than do young Muslim citizens?
We hope this prompts some real soul searching among those who actively supported the case against the Irvine students simply because they didn’t like what the students had to say about Israel's human rights record.
The principle of free expression for even unpopular speech, as it applies to all people, is fundamental to democracy. And it is never, ever OK to allow or support the unjust targeting of a minority group—which is what happened here. And frankly, as a religious and ethnic minority who was once a largely young immigrant population, Jews of all people should understand the need to protect minority rights.
Our young Jewish members engaged in a nearly identical protest of Israeli policies-only the venue was larger and the target was the Prime Minister of Israel, Bibi Netanyahu. They were let off without even a mark. Their Muslim peers were tried and criminalized. What does this say about America today?