israel apartheid week 311.
(photo credit: Screenshot)
LONDON – Violence broke out at the London School of Economics on Monday after
Jewish and Israeli students clashed with pro-Palestinian activists who had set
up a mock “Israeli apartheid wall” on campus.
Members from the school’s
Palestinian Society erected the mock checkpoint at the entrance of a classroom
block as part of “apartheid week.” The activists then stopped students and asked
“We are only trying to recreate the conditions Palestinians have
to face on a day-to-day basis,” claimed Niamh Hayes from the Palestine
Jewish and Israeli students accused the activists of harassment
and intimidation, resulting in water balloons being thrown at the mock wall.
Scuffles then broke out between the two sides. Witnesses said that fighting
continued on the main street of the campus.
Security staff at the school
intervened to stop matters from escalating.
They asked the protesters to
refrain from preventing students from passing through the mock checkpoint. The
request was ignored.
“LSE security staff acted immediately to calm
matters, to prevent escalation and to advise the society that students should
not be hindered from going about their normal business on campus,” LSE said in a
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“Whilst I welcome a diversity of opinion; actions such as
these undo a lot of the good work that has been done in creating and maintaining
a dialogue between students and groups on campus,” said Alex Peters- Day,
secretary of the LSE Student Union.
The Israel Society at the school said
in a statement that it condemned “all violence” seen on the day.
not however, condemn the anger that caused this. The Palestine Society are
mocking and simplifying the complexities of life in the region,” said Aimee
Riese, president of the Israel Society. “The Palestine Society’s interpretation
of an Israeli checkpoint was intimidating for Jewish students as they held
[mock] guns, called Jewish students ‘Israelis’ as they walked through, and the
protests further angered students who have been directly affected by the
“Provocative acts instigated by the society only serve to fuel
tensions on campus. Dragging women kicking and screaming along the floor, as it
simulated, is not an accurate description of reality; rather it is a disgusting
simplification of a complex situation for both sides,” Riese added.
Israel Society called for the school to restore calm and for the Palestine
Society to apologize for the stunt.
The Union of Jewish Students also
condemned the protest.
“UJS has consistently opposed these fake security
checkpoints as being intimidating against Jewish students,” a UJS spokesman said
in a statement. “These stunts reduce what is a serious and complex situation
between Israelis and Palestinians into theatrical provocations that can only
ever prove divisive here on British campuses.”
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