Today's headline in the Orange County Register announces that the so-called "Irvine 11', the arrogant students who were convicted of disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the US at the University of California at Irvine, have filed an appeal.
Are we surprised?
Never mind that they were not sentenced to any jail time for their outrageous conduct. These characters want total vindication.
Last year, four of these young men returned to UCI to participate in a panel as part of the Muslim Student Union's anti-Israel week of events. They expressed no remorse when confronted with the fact that they could not extend the same right of free speech to the Israeli ambassador that they enjoyed at UCI as they spoke.
As their point of justification, they responded that Michael Oren (the Israeli ambassador) was a "war criminal" even though they had no solid grounds to back up that charge.
Make no mistake: These young men gave a black eye to UCI (one of them was a UC Riverside student.) They also gave a black eye to the Muslim community as a whole. They showed that they could not tolerate speech from someone with whom they do not agree. They showed that they could not listen and participate in a courteous question and answer session. Instead, they tried to shut down the words of the Israeli ambassador. Videotapes showed that they thought they had succeeded in doing exactly that in the moments after the disruption. They lied to the university about their intentions and tried to cover up their plans to disrupt the speech.
Keep in mind, most of these former students were either born in America or are American citizens. Yet, they have no concept of the principles of freedom of speech.
I try to respect the line between one who teaches at UCI and the students. As such, I hold back a lot of fire when it comes to students. These young men are now departed from UCI, so I feel no such compunction.
They are arrogant.