Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Koenig Report / Koenig Memorandum / Ben-Gurion Fabricated Quote

Time and again, the UC Irvine Muslim Student Union makes a poster with the following quotation on it:


"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population."


They attribute the quotation to David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel.


They've cited as their source two different locations:


  1. The "Koenig Memorandum" (Shown IN FULL at the end of this post - see if you can find the quote)
  2. The books of Michael Ben-Zohar

Let me tell you that this is a completely FABRICATED quotation.


This quotation appeared at the top of the MSU's 2004 Zionism Awareness Week flyer, just above the watermarked image of a individual whose head was completely wrapped in a kayyefah (assumedly a Palestinian terrorist). On that flyer, though, there was no Koenig Memorandum citation.


Click here for a full-size version of the flyer below


200405 zionismWeek2004


CAMERA - the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (http://www.CAMERA.org - bless their stars - faxed me a copy of the Koenig Memorandum (in reality, the Koenig Report - shown at the end of this post). Here's what we found:


  1. The Israeli government refused to implement the Report's inappropriate suggestions
  2. David Ben-Gurion isn't mentioned once in the Report
  3. The Report was published 3 years after David Ben-Gurion's death
  4. The quote itself is nowhere to be found in the Report


Since the MSU had not provided a citation, I put a copy of the Report in the MSU's mailbox and emailed their entire leadership requesting a citation, explaining that the only citation I had found online for the quotation was "the Koenig Memorandum" and that appeared to be incorrect.


No response.


After I sent a second email a few days later, I got a "give us a sec" reply from their leader at the time; a few days after that, I got a reply stating it's "the Koenig Memorandum". Flabbergasted, I emailed them back saying effectively "are you all a bunch of idiots? I *gave* you the Koenig Memorandum. Try again." The reply a few days later? "It should be able to be found in one of Michael Ben-Zohar's books."


So I called CAMERA; they in turn called Ben-Zohar, and according to CAMERA, Ben-Zohar replied that there was no such quotation in any of his books.


Armed with now TWO fabricated citations, I contacted UCI Dean of Students Sally Peterson and met with her in late May 2004. I showed her the Koenig Report and explained the whole situation, stating that if anyone had used a fabricated quotation or citation in a class assignment, they could be given an F in the course and potentially thrown out of the university.


I stated that the campus appeared to be a "persistent hostile environment towards Jews", and that if this was a place of employment, I could sue and WIN big damages; in this case, not only was I not being paid, I was paying $10,000 for the privilege to be here at one of the top 10 public universities in the nation. If something wasn't done about it STAT, I was going to just go out and get an attorney, and sue UCI for all they've got.


Dean Peterson didn't want to outright shut down the MSU - she explained that she had been run roughshod over shutting down the College Republican's "Anti-Affirmative-Action bake sale" a month or two prior. So instead, she wanted first to hear from more Jewish students; thanks to the current Jewish student leadership, a bunch of Jewish students showed up at a meeting in late May/early June 2004, along with:


  • Jeff Rips of B'Nai B'rith Hillel,
  • Ken O'Grady of the ADL (don't get me started on my thoughts about him),
  • Assistant Ombudsman J. Michael Chennault,


  • Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Judicial Affairs Byron Clift Breland,
  • Kristin Quanbeck of the UCI Office of Equality and Diversity (her job is to investigate harassment on campus),
  • and of course, Dean Peterson.


The Jewish students and I all laid out what we've experienced based on what has happened on campus and how the blatant bigotry was affecting us and the environment on campus. After all of us had testified, I put a question straight to Dean Peterson: "Will there be a fact-finding investigation?" Dean Peterson responded "no" and said instead that she'd try to start an inter-religious dialogue.


Those dialogues were held in Fall 2004. It was a good idea and might have worked in another setting; I even thought that there might have been a break-through during one of the sessions. In the end, though, we ended back again at square one with when Amir Abdel Malik Ali arrived once again on campus in February 2005.


The fabricated Ben-Gurion quotation has appeared many times since at MSU events. At one such event, where Malik Ali read out loud this quote as well as others, I asked Dean Peterson if such a rule existed banning the use of fabricated quotations and citations at UCI student group events - she said no. I've since found the UCI rules regarding fabricating quotations:



102.00 GROUNDS FOR DISCIPLINE


Chancellors may impose discipline for the commission or attempted commission (including aiding or abetting in the commission or attempted commission) of the following types of violations by students, as well as
such other violations as may be specified in campus regulations:


102.01 All forms of academic misconduct including but not limited to cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, or
facilitating academic dishonesty.


102.02 Other forms of dishonesty including but not limited to fabricating information, furnishing false
information, or reporting a false emergency to the University.


(http://www.students.uci.edu/judicial/uci_policy.php#100.00)



Note that UCI's rules make sure to specify that one can be punished for academic misconduct (i.e. WITHIN the classroom) as well as dishonesty OUTSIDE the classroom. There's also other rules about harassment (section 102.11) and in fact an entire protocol on Hate and Bias Incident Response (Appendix M).


I can't BELIEVE that UCI still refuses to enforce its own rules. If they did, I wouldn't have to have just used up 2 hours writing this email intead of spending that time on my homework and had made it to the class that I'm now 30 minutes late for; my grades would also be a lot higher (and my stress level lower) if I didn't have to deal with this B.S. - I can't make it any clearer how much this environment is affecting me and my fellow Jewish students.


For all to use as reference: THE KOENIG REPORT

UPDATE 5/6/2008
My old host system deleted my files, so I've put the PDF up here. You will need the Flash Player to view the image. Click on this link to get the larger version.


4 comments:

Siamanto said...

Koenig report and Koenig Memorandum are two different publications. The latter can even be found in the Washington Archives and contains the quote that you have mentioned. But strangely enough, it doesn't quote Ben Gurion, but Israel Koenig.

Concerned UCI Student said...

Siamanto: see my response here

Shayna said...

Your link for the Koenig Memorandum does not work. I have spent hours and hours trying to find it in order to disprove the same Anti-Semitic rhetoric. Why is it so hard to find? Is there anyway you can get me a copy?

Concerned UCI Student said...

Shayna - all fixed. Thanks for catching that.