Last week at UC Irvine, a large group of extremist students repeatedly shouted down Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. You can watch a video of this debacle here.
When appeals to the values of liberal education, free speech, and even threats of expulsion failed to quiet the disruption, Ambassador Oren appealed to the attendees on the basis of the middle eastern tradition of hospitality. That failed, too.
The fanaticism, lack of civility, and lack of respect the disruptive students demonstrated in this incident were not only an offense towards Israel or the ambassador. Their behavior appeared to be a proud demonstration of contempt for liberal education and the values that sustain it. It is also worth noting that, as evidenced here, the people who really hate Israel tend to hold America and its institutions in contempt as well.
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