Jewish group blasts charges against 11 Irvine students

February 8, 2011 17:43

SAN FRANCISCO - The Jewish Voice for Peace protested criminal charges brought against 11 Muslim students from two California universities who disrupted a speech by Israel's ambassador to the United States.

Similar actions by Jewish groups, including their own, resulted in little or no punishment, the Jewish Voice for Peace said.

The students disrupted a Feb. 8, 2010 speech by Ambassador Michael Oren at the University of California, Irvine. Oren walked off the stage twice, unable to continue because of the disruption.

Two Jewish Voice for Peace members will hand-deliver a petition Wednesday to the Orange County District Attorney, who last week charged the students with disrupting Oren’s address and conspiring to disrupt the address. If convicted, the offenders face jail time, probation and community service.

The petition was signed by more than 5,000 Jews stating that they also had interrupted a speaker or an event to make a political point. It asked the district attorney to “charge them too” if the case goes forward against the Muslim students.

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