There must be something better for the Orange County district attorney to do than go after the "Irvine 11," the students who were charged Friday with disrupting a February 2010 speech by Israel's ambassador to the United States at UC Irvine. The students from UCI and UC Riverside were out of line and disrespectful, but what they did hardly warrants legal attention, much less the relatively obscure misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to disrupt a meeting and disturbance of a meeting.
In our view this event was internal to UCI, which handled the matter appropriately by suspending the Muslim Student Union. We don't see anything particularly out of the ordinary about students protesting the appearance of a public figure, in this case Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, on a university campus. Though we sympathize with the lack of deserved respect Oren was shown, a figure of his standing is certainly accustomed to encountering dissent.