‘Intifada, Revolution’: UK Students Call for Violence at Talk by Pro-Israel Activist
by Dion J. Pierre
Pro-Palestinian students called for “intifada” and “revolution” while protesting a presentation given by pro-Israel activist Yoseph Haddad at University College London’s (UCL) Student Union, Jewish Chronicle reported on Tuesday.
“There is only one solution: Intifada. Revolution,” the students chanted outside the building where Haddad, who is Arab Israeli and a Christian, was speaking to students. JC added that the demonstration began with a march on the main campus of the university before making its way towards the site of Haddad’s engagement, which was not disrupted.
“This man is a war criminal who served in an army full of war criminals defending an apartheid state,” one student said during a speech. “What you’re doing here is a righteous deed, what you’re doing here is an honorable thing. Don’t be shy about it. Be loud about it.”
Haddad’s stop at UCL was one among several he made for a campus speaking tour arranged by the UK chapter of StandWithUs, an organization that promotes education about Israel. In a social media post uploaded after the event concluded Haddad thanked “all the students who came to hear me.”
“As a students’ union, we don’t make judgement on the political position of speakers, and we don’t endorse any speaker,” Students’ Union UCL told JC on Tuesday. “Many of our student societies invite speakers who are disagreeable to others and, in rare, cases speakers who have made previously controversial statements are invited. In the same way we support student groups to invite challenging speakers, we support other student groups to safely oppose or protest these speakers.”
A university spokesperson told the paper, “Ahead of this event, we worked with Students’ Unions UCL to carry out a thorough risk assessment to ensure the speaker event and counter protest could both take place.”
Student protestors also confronted Haddad at University of Exeter and University of Nottingham, where dozens stood up and turned their backs to the stage while Haddad waved an Israeli flag in response.