Another day, another college protest gone too far.
The latest comes to us from the University of Texas at Austin, and like everything in 2015, it was all caught on video.
According to the YouTube video’s description, twelve members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee at the UT – Austin disrupted a public event hosted by the school’s Institute for Israeli Studies titled “The Origin of a Species: The Birth of the Israeli Defense Forces’ Military Culture” on November 13. The video claims the students planned a two minute speech, after which they would leave.
However, things get ugly fast.
The protestors enter and a professor almost immediately gets up in the speaker’s face. It quickly erupts into grabbing a flag from the protestors and screaming from both parties before the students erupt in a chant of “Free Free Palestine.”
Watch the entire intense exchange below.
Ami Pedahzur, professor in Israel and Diaspora studies, is one of the faculty members accused of “assaulting” one of the students as they chanted. We have reached out to him for comment, and he responded, “As you can imagine I have a lot to say. However, I was instructed by the college of liberal arts to refer reporters to their public affairs director.”
At the end of the video, the students say they were held by police for 40 minutes.
The University of Texas at Austin strives to be a campus where people with different viewpoints can debate issues —including the Israeli – Palestinian conflict — openly and respectfully.
Our Institute for Israel Studies has always strived to do that and, on Friday, invited an esteemed scholar to deliver remarks and engage in critical debate.
The university has existing protocols for protesters to voice their points of view and be heard effectively. We are trying to determine if they were followed in this case.
Responding to a call from the event, University Police spoke with all the parties involved on Friday. My office will do the same. We are gathering more information and looking for ways to improve the constructive dialogue on campus.
Who was in the wrong here? Both parties, if you ask me. Of course these students should have their causes, but they shouldn’t be allowed to interrupt activities like lectures or classes to voice their opinions. However, the faculty members getting physical is uncalled for.
By posting the video, the members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee were trying to get support for their interruption of an intellectual lecture. They’re definitely not getting that from me.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments.
[Story via COED]