Last year, when Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren announced his intention to speak at the University of California at Irvine, some members of the school's Muslim Students Union plotted to inform Oren of their feelings about some of Israel's policies. They used their voices to do so. This is illegal!
Today 10 members of the so-called "Irvine 11" (charges against one of the original eleven students were dropped) were convicted on misdemeanor charges of disrupting a meeting and conspiracy to disrupt a meeting in a Santa Ana, Calif., court. Here's what they did, which is a crime:
In February 2010, as Oren began to speak about the U.S.-Israeli relationship at a campus speech, the students rose one-by-one to object to Israel's occupation of the West Bank. One shouted, "Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech!" As the offender was removed from the audience, a designated compatriot shouted, "You, sir, are an accomplice to genocide!" And so on. According to an attorney for one of the students, the longest of the interruptions lasted roughly 8 seconds, and the total amount of time taken up by their outbursts—combined—was roughly one minute.
That's one minute too long when you're talking about Muslim students interrupting the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. to inform him that some people think his country's policies are unjust, which is illegal, so don't do it.
[Image via AP]