Pro-Palestinian protesters turn violent at London speech by former Shin Bet head

Rioters smash window and setting off fire alarms, during a speech by Ami Ayalon at King's College.

January 20, 2016 21:15
2 minute read.
kings college

at King's College respond to a protest outside speech by former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Ami Ayalon in London on January 19, 2016. (photo credit: FACEBOOK/KCL ISRAEL SOCIETY)

Pro-Palestinian protesters became violent, smashing a window and setting off fire alarms, during a speech by former Shin Bet head Ami Ayalon in London on Tuesday evening.

Police were called to rein in the budding riot at King’s College, during which one of the evening’s organizers claimed to have been assaulted, according to local media reports.

“Violent protesters set off multiple fire alarms to interrupt the talk. They also banged on windows, threw chairs and screamed to the top of their voices,” event co-organizer David Tamman posted on Facebook.

“Attendees inside felt the walls and windows shake as they were struggling to hear the talk, looking genuinely scared for their security,” he continued.

“Indeed they had reason to. It got violent as a few managed to push their way into the building, break a glass window and physically assault a friend of mine. This came along with a tirade of verbal abuse, inches from the faces of many Jewish students. It got to a stage where the police felt the need to call in around 15 police officers and two vans. Two female friends of mine cried from the fear and abuse, and I stood there staring at a poster on the door declaring Kings College London to be a ‘safe space,’ and thought – what a lie. The truth is, universities across the UK are not safe spaces (if you happen to be a Zionist Jew).”

“Ironically, Ayalon was talking in front of a white board describing the rules for ‘safe spaces’ at universities. But there is no ‘safe space’ for an Israeli Jew at British universities,” agreed attendee Richard Millett in a post on the website of UK Media Watch.

“As soon as the doors shut the frustrated anti-Israel activists pounded the doors and the windows looking into the talk. They screamed ‘Free, free Palestine,’ ‘Viva, viva Palestina’ and ‘From the river to the sea Palestine will be free’ and smashed a window.”

“There can be no justification for the events last night at KCL. The KCLSU [Kings College London Students’ Union] Israel society were hosting an event about peace and were greeted by violence and intimidation,” the Union of Jewish Students said in a statement.

According to the Jewish News website no arrests were made.

The Jewish News outlet also reported that a pro-Israel rally planned for January 31 in Manchester has been canceled due to what organizers have described as “an orchestrated campaign by specific pressure groups whose sole aim is to delegitimize Israel.”

“By caving in to this external pressure, the Sheridan Suite has succumbed to gross intimidation and allowed itself to become a target of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.”

In a post on Facebook, the Manchester Palestine Action group stated that the event had been called after the venue was “contacted by many conscientious folks” who stand against “Israeli war crimes and mass murder.”

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