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Students for Justice in Palestine sanctioned for disrupting pro-Israel event at UC Irvine

The Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at the University of California, Irvine was punished with disciplinary probation for two academic years for disrupting a pro-Israel event held on campus.

After the announcement of the punishment last month, the SJP said Friday it would appeal the decision. The appeal process is expected to take several weeks.

In addition to the two years of probation, the campus group must hold six meetings a year to discuss free speech, and adhere to a requirement to meet with university administrators two weeks before hosting any event, according to a statement from the university.

The group was sanctioned for disrupting an event held in May by the Students Supporting Israel organization which featured a panel of Israeli military veterans from the Israeli group Reservists on Duty.

About 30 members of the JVP entered the auditorium during the question and answer session and began chanting slogans such as “Israel, Israel what you say? How many people did you kill today?” and “Free Palestine,” in a protest captured on video.

Campus police officers escorted the panelists to the parking lot after the event, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The sanctions were leveled after the UC Irvine Office of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct decided the action was in violation of university policy, according to a statement  issued by the office.

“UCI welcomes all opinions and encourages a free exchange of ideas – in fact, we defend free speech as one of our bedrock principles as a public university. Yet, we must protect everyone’s right to express themselves without disruption. This concept is clearly articulated in our policies and campus messaging. We will hold firm in enforcing it,” the statement said.

SJP at UC Irvine was sanctioned for disrupting a pro-Israel campus event in May 2016 as well.

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