LONDON – Jewish students at a Scottish university managed to hold a charity
event despite being forced to find another location at the last minute after
anti-Israel activists threatened staff at the original venue.
charity ball organized by the Jewish Society and Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at
St. Andrews University in Fife was scheduled to take place at the St. Andrews
Golf Hotel on Friday. On Wednesday, however, the hotel pulled out after staff
received threatening phone calls and email from activists linked to the radical
fringe group Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) and other anti-Israel
The activists were upset that Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish
National Fund and Friends of the IDF were to receive money raised by the
students, and were planning to protest and disrupt the event. The management of
the hotel explained the cancellation on the grounds that they could not
guarantee the health and safety of guests and staff.
Joel Salmon, the
president of the St. Andrews Jewish Society, told The Jerusalem Post
that they had being planned the event for some time and never thought about
Late on Thursday, the society and the Jewish fraternity
found an alternative venue that they managed to keep secret in order to
guarantee the security of guests and prevent any retribution from
Organizers went along with the belief that the event had been
cancelled and guests were emailed and told to meet at specific locations, where
they were picked up by taxis and taken to the new venue.
adverse circumstances of the venue pulling out the day before due to allegedly
aggressive phone calls and emails from individuals supporting the SPSC, the
Jewish Society was able to secure an alternative venue,” Salmon said, adding
that a donor paid for the taxis.
“We have been overwhelmed by the support
received from the Jewish community, the university and the local authorities.
The fact that the protest was organized by people with little or no connection
Andrews speaks volumes about our town and university, who we are
extremely proud of,” he stated.
Salmon described the event as a
resounding success and said that organizers raised over five times the amount
that had originally been expected, with more donations coming in.
St. Andrews Jewish Society will not cave in to intimidation or bullying. We will
always protect our members and shall continue to provide events to enrich Jewish
life in St Andrews,” Salmon said.
The SPSC declined to comment.