Muslims and Jews: Unequal Under the Law?
Cross-posted from Tikkun Daily. by Jewish Voice for Peace Members Amirah Mizrahi, Antonia House, and Emily Ratner When Jewish Voice for Peace disrupted Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's keynote speech at the Jewish Federations of North America's annual general meeting last November in New Orleans, we were met with hisses, boos, verbal harassment and even physical attacks from other members of the audience. But criminal charges were never so much as mentioned. Yet just weeks ago, students who interrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech at UC Irvine in February 2010 were convicted of two misdemeanors for their participation in that protests. See if you can spot the difference between these two protests: In both protests, each person who stood up to bring attention to the Israeli Occupation and other violations of international law committed by the Israeli government acted non-violently, and cooperated fully with security personnel and the police. So why were we not arrested, charged and tried while the Irvine 11 were? Logically, the opposite should have been true: our target was bigger - the Prime Minister of Israel; our venue was bigger - the largest Jewish event in North America; and our protest came later - inspired in part by the Irvine 11's brave actions. But there is one more difference, and it proved to be the crucial one: we are Jews and the Irvine 11 are Muslims. JVP joins the administration of UC Irvine and the dean of UC Irvine's law school, along with proponents of free speech and human rights throughout the country, in condemning these convictions. This targeting of Muslim students by the Orange County District Attorney's office will not stand. Everyone has the right to speak out for justice. Join us today in saying: We stand against Islamophobia, for justice, and with the Irvine 11!" To read more pieces like this, sign up for Tikkun Daily’s free newsletter, sign up for Tikkun Magazine emails or visit us online. You can also like Tikkunon Facebook and follow us on Twitter.