King’s College London Says Students ‘Crossed Line’ in Anti-Israel Protest; Invites Lecturer Back
King’s College London concluded on Friday that anti-Israel students who turned violent during a protest on campus last month went too far.
The university said in a report that after conducting a “swift and comprehensive investigation into the events which took place,” it has concluded that “a number of individuals intentionally disrupted the rights of others to exercise freedom of speech within the law.”
“Those individuals who chose to behave inappropriately crossed a line and should be held accountable for doing so,” the university said.
As The Algemeiner previously reported, anti-Israel activists chanted “Free Palestine” and “Viva Viva Palestina,” as they hurled chairs, broke a window and physically assaulted an event organizer at a lecture given on Jan. 19 by Ami Ayalon, a former head of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency. Angry protesters at the event – co-sponsored by the Israel Societies of Kings College London and the London School of Economics — also set off fire alarms on every floor of the building in which the lecture was held. Security guards were already on the premises but dozens of police officers were called to the scene of the violence.
King’s College London said there is “sufficient evidence of misconduct” against those who participated in the protest inside the university’s Norfolk building. The incident will now be referred to a disciplinary committee.
The university’s report added: “As the majority of the students involved in entering the Norfolk building were not King’s students, we will assist other London institutions in any way we can to take action under their disciplinary procedures.”
Professor Ed Byrne, president and principal of King’s College London, accepted all findings of the investigation and said he invited Ayalon to return to King’s College. The former head of the Shin Bet accepted the invitation.
Byrne said the university has a “duty to uphold freedom of speech within the law and will fight against intolerance wherever it is found.”
“Intimidating behavior is completely unacceptable and goes against everything that we stand for at King’s,” he added. “We do not, and will not, condone the use of any form of violent protest.”