Members of U of Georgia Students for Justice in Palestine Removed From Talk Given by IDF Soldiers for Disruption, Dropping Photos of Dead Children at Speakers’ Feet
Activists at the University of Georgia (UGA) were forcibly removed from a lecture hall where they were disrupting a talk by two Israeli soldiers, footage of the event obtained by The Algemeiner revealed.
Some 20 members of the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) were escorted out of the room by an armed guard for causing the commotion, which began mere minutes into the event, when one protester yelled, “In 2014, Israel killed more than 500 Palestinian children. The occupation is terrorism.” At this point, he and others – some wearing keffiyehs — dropped photos of dead children at the speakers’ feet.
Neta Kanny — senior adviser of Dawgs for Israel and a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow, who helped organize the hosting of the soldiers, described the atmosphere in the room during the protests as “tense, yet calm.”
“Many of the students in the crowd have attended this event in the past, which has been previously protested, and were expecting some level of disruption,” she told The Algemeiner. “So this year, I ensured we would have security in the room.”
“Our reserve and respect attested to our unity as pro-Israel students at UGA, and that even under such circumstances, we welcome everyone to attend such events in hopes of engaging in discussion,” she said.
Benjamin Larrabee, Southern Region Campus Coordinator for StandWithUs, said he found it “disappointing that these students didn’t take us up on our invitation to stay and participate in the discussion.”
“The reason the conflict is one-sided is because they don’t want to talk to the other side. We want to learn about each other’s narratives,” he told The Algemeiner.
He said that the soldiers already knew what to expect, and “took it very well, but were disheartened to see students not willing to engage in discussion with them,” he said. At one point the soldiers asked the demonstrators to place their fliers on the table as they walked out, rather than throwing them on the floor, which the protesters agreed to do.
Earlier this month, protesters at Columbia University in New York called for the elimination of the Jewish state during a speech by Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon. The following day, at the University of Vienna, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was heckled by BDS activists while delivering a speech.
Last week, a talk by Israeli Ambassador to Ireland Ze’ev Boker at Trinity College Dublin was cancelled at the last minute, due to a protest by the school’s SJP chapter.
Watch the disruption of the UGA event in the two clips below: