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Palestinians disrupt Israeli speakers in UK and US

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

LONDON (WJC)–British police are investigating a verbal attack on Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon, after a student shouted “kill the Jews” during a talk Ayalon gave at Oxford University, in England. During the event, which was hosted by the university’s Student Union, a Muslim student got up and shouted in Arabic “Itbah Al-Yahud” – “kill the Jews” – as he was leaving the lecture hall. The incident was referred to the police on Tuesday and university authorities have promised to look into the incident once the police have completed its investigation.
“Our policy is always to await the outcome of police investigations where criminal offences are alleged, and to look at any internal disciplinary process after the police have finished their investigation. So we will await the outcome. We abhor racism but obviously now this is in police hands we cannot comment on the individual case,” an Oxford University spokesperson told the ‘Jerusalem Post’. The paper reported that Ayalon was heckled throughout his talk by accusations of war crimes and racism. At a demonstration outside the lecture hall, organized by the university’s Palestine Society, protesters chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Meanwhile, California police made a dozen arrests after a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, descended into chaos. Hecklers interrupted Oren’s lecture at the University of California in Irvine over ten times, shouting “killers” and “how many Palestinians did you kill?” Oren was speaking about US-Israeli relations. The college’s Muslim Student Union released a statement prior to Oren’s appearance which said, “As people of conscience, we oppose Michael Oren’s invitation to our campus. Propagating murder is not a responsible expression of free speech.”

The ambassador was removed from the stage for a period because of the outbursts, prompting strong criticism by Professor Mark Petracca, chairman of the university’s Political Science department, who told the students: “This is no way for our undergraduate students to behave. We have an opportunity to hear from a policy-maker relevant to one of the most important issues facing this planet, and you are preventing not only yourself from hearing him but hundreds of other people in this room and hundreds of other people in an overflow room. Shame on you! This is not an example of free speech.”

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

  1. carol ann goldstein
    February 14, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    There are 2 Jewish groups I know of that are not in favor of free speech- Campus Watch and CAMERA- these groups attempt to stifle free speech on US campuses and US media if they detect anything that is critical of Israeli policies. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  2. carol ann goldstein
    February 13, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Free speech is important in all lands. Unfortunately there are those who oppose Israeli policies who do not have a venue to express their opinions. In both events in this article the protestors would have had a chance to express their views civilly if they had let the invited speakers speak and then make comments during the question and answer session following each presentation.
    In news I receive from J Street, New Israel Fund and Jewish Voice for Peace there is an ongoing effort in Israel to stifle free speech and human rights groups by right wing groups and the Ultra Orthodox groups. There should be no double standards on free speech..

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