A group of anti-Israel students at George Washington University in Washington D.C. walked out of a lecture by Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, on Monday night, protesting the envoy’s visit to campus.
Toward the beginning of Ambassador Oren’s lecture entitled, "Ultimate Allies: Israel and the United States," about 30 students stood up and left the auditorium. Audience members applauded lightly while Oren continued with his presentation. Oren proposed that the students stay and conduct a dialogue, but they refused to heed his advice.
Additional protesters were waiting outside, many of whom were holding signs that read, "Oren supports colonialism," "What is the best way to stop terrorism? Stop committing it!" and "What are you going to do with 30 billion?," referring to U.S. military aid to Israel.
According to GWU Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Yoni Kaiser-Blueth, no student group has yet claimed responsibility for the demonstration. However, there are active chapters of “Students for Justice in Palestine” and A Muslim Students’ Association on campus, both of which are vehemently anti-Israel.
Students have protested Oren’s speeches at several campuses in the past.
In February 2010, 11 Muslim students at the University of California, Irvine, shouted slogans and staged a walk-out. Ten of the students were found guilty of misdemeanors for disrupting the speech and were sentenced to community service and three years of probation.