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February 21, 2013 11:35 am

Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to the UK Forced to Flee Essex University

avatar by Zach Pontz

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The Essex University Students' Union building. Photo: Wikipedia

Israel’s deputy ambassador to Britain, Alon Roth-Snir, was forced from a British university campus Wednesday after protesters caused a lecture on the Middle East to be abandoned.

Roth-Snir was speaking at Essex University when 40 students disrupted the meeting, university officials split students into two groups, according to who was and wasn’t supportive of Mr Roth-Snir’s presence, and allowed the lecture to continue in a small side room.

However, security officials ultimately decided the protestors posed a great enough risk that Mr. Roth-Snir was evacuated.

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Nathan Bolton, president of the student union, protested ahead of the deputy ambassadors appearance on campus,even setting  setting up a Facebook page calling on protestors to bring “pots, pans, whistles and sirens” to create a disturbance. After the event Bolton posted to the page “Victory – free Palestine!”

A university spokeswoman told the Jewish Chronicle that although the university did not believe there had been a threat of violence to Mr Roth-Snir, a decision to evacuate him from campus was made.

The spokeswoman added that the university would consider taking disciplinary action against any students who had broken university rules on the right to peaceful protest.

Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, a prominent Rabbi and writer based in the UK, tweeted that Essex University “should hang its head in shame for deplorable treatment of Israel deputy ambsador [sic]today.”

An Israeli embassy spokesman said: “These students make a mockery of the very foundations of freedom of speech, a pillar of the academic world. Their actions shame Essex University and British academia, and damage a long tradition of positive academic exchange.

“Such behavior should be strongly condemned by all those who cherish democratic values.”

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  • Yoel Nitzarim

    This mishap smacks of the same type of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism manifested against a speech by Israeli Ambassador to the United States Dr. Michael Oren at UC-Irvine and Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon at Oxford University and most recently in a planned debate between UK MP George Galloway and student Eylon Aslan-Levy at Oxford University. Abe Foxman of the ADL condemned the first two instances as being nothing short of deplorable base anti-Semitic behavior. This latter incident has yet to be labelled, yet its impact emotionally is felt at my desk here in Skokie, Illinois USA.

  • Bathsheva Gladstone

    This is what happens when you acquiesce to something other than a decent morality-when you accept monies funded by iffy sources to dictate your supposed liberal arts education. Sadly things like this, and what happened at Brooklyn College are only the beginning.

    When freedom of speech means only if the agreement is with an islamist slant and agenda, you’ve got a wee bit of a problem there…

  • richard sherman

    In 1948 the British gave all their guns to the Arabs and told them to kill every Jew they saw. Nothing has changed.

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