May 27, 2017 1229 GMT
The May 10 event, called “The Truth About Israel: From the perspective of Israeli veterans,” was disrupted by members of Irvine’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter, Campus Reform reported Monday.
The students chanted “Israel, Israel, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide” and “Israel, Israel, what do you say? How many people have you killed today?” for a few minutes before university police showed up and forced them out of the venue.
“You people are colonizers or occupiers and you should not be allowed on this campus,” one protester told the Israeli soldiers, who had been touring campuses across the US to share their first-hand experience of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
University officials were “reviewing the incident and will make a recommendation on the appropriate course of action, if any,” said Tom Vasich, the school’s interim media relations director.
“UCI actively supports diverse views and civil discourse. … The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our utmost priority,” he added.
This was not the first time the students were interrupting a pro-Israeli event at the university.
In May 2016, they disrupted the screening of a movie about Israeli soldiers. Kevin Brum, the founder and sole member of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at UCI, said that the movie included “personal interviews that sort of humanizes” Israeli soldiers.
Back then, the university issued a warning to its JCP chapter and required it to host “an educational program by November 18, 2016.”
The SSI has called on the university to hold SJP accountable. It has also called on “SSI leaders, members, and supporters from all over the country” to put the university’s Chancellor under pressure for a firm response.