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April 20, 2017 12:34 pm

Police Called After Leftist Protesters Disrupt Jerusalem Mayor’s Lecture at Hebrew University

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Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. Photo: Screenshot.

Police officers were called after protesters disrupted a lecture on Wednesday by the mayor of Jerusalem at the city’s Hebrew University, The Algemeiner has learned.

Nir Barkat was speaking at the school as part of educational NGO Im Tirtzu’s “Seminars for Zionist Thought” series, when some dozen protesters caused a near hour-long sustained disruption by chanting slogans, including accusations of racism against the mayor. Some protesters held signs, with one reading, “There’s no holiness in an occupied city.”

“Finally, after about 45 minutes, police officers arrived and escorted the leftist protesters out of the room,” said Alexandra Markus, a Hebrew U student and an organizer of the event who live-streamed it on her Facebook page. “The officers were greeted with wild applause.”

At one point, an older woman is seen throwing a water bottle at a protester, while later Markus and others are heard yelling at demonstrators (in Hebrew), “You support terrorists. How are you not ashamed?”

Markus told The Algemeiner, “The sad thing is that all the dissenters left when security came. They yelled at [Barkat], but refused to speak with him and question him. Common courtesy dictates that you should at least let him speak — and then, tell him what you find reprehensible.”

She added that if someone with opposing political views had stayed to debate with Barkat, “maybe they might have even convinced someone. This way, it was just screaming.”

Barkat posted about the protest on Facebook, and said in a statement, “We will not bow our heads to the violence and incitement of the radical left.”

“It is unfortunate that those who claim to promote the values of freedom of expression try to silence those who don’t agree with them,” the mayor added.

In a statement, Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg called on Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett to demand that Hebrew U’s president take disciplinary action against the protesters.

Barkat completed his lecture after the protesters were removed from the room.

Earlier this month, Barkat cancelled a speech at San Francisco State University, in what was to be his return to the campus where a year before he had been shouted down by students. The mayor said he pulled the plug on his lecture because the administration had not made an effort to support or publicize the event.

Watch footage of Wednesday’s protest below:

(Credit: Dudi Eltsufin)

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