President of Ireland’s Only On-Campus Israel Society Assaulted at ‘Peace Week’ Bake Sale
The president of Ireland’s only on-campus Israel student group was assaulted on Thursday while manning a kosher bake sale booth for charity, The Algemeiner has learned.
Alan Lyne — founder of the Israel Society at the almost entirely non-Jewish Maynooth University — said Friday, “I’m still in shock,” after an individual believed to be a student pushed and shoved him during the pro-Israel “Peace Week” event.
The bake sale table was set up in the middle of a major student hub, when the attacker “came up and started hurling abuses at me, yelling at us to ‘get out of here,'” Lyne said.
“At first it was just the usual stuff — he was shouting, ‘F*** Israel,’ ‘Free Palestine’ — but then he got very close to me. He didn’t listen when I told his to step away, so I took out my phone to start recording. Then, suddenly, he was on me,” Lyne said.
“I was stunned. My face and hands went numb,” he continued. “I can’t remember exactly what happened next, but it seems a couple of bystanders pulled him off me and pinned him against the wall. Somehow, he got away, grabbed my phone out of my hands and smashed it against the wall.”
Lyne said he and many others recognized the individual responsible from around the campus, but his name remains unknown. He called on any of the dozens of students in the vicinity during the incident to come forward and speak with campus or local police.
Though Lyne said his group has faced substantial online harassment by anti-Israel activists in the past, this was the first time any of the society’s members had been physically threatened.
“All this does is encourage us to spread our peaceful message even more, and it shows that the other side stands for hate and negativity,” Lyne said, noting that he has received “great support” from the university, police and the local Jewish and pro-Israel communities.
National advocacy group Irish4Israel posted footage of the incident on their Facebook page, as well as a statement “utterly condemn[ing]” the attack.
Watch footage of the incident below: