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SJP Protesters Disrupt Speech by Israeli Ambassador in UK

Anti-Israel protesters disrupted a speech by Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub at Edinburgh University on Wednesday evening.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 10/25/2012, 5:57 PM

Anti-Israel protest (illustrative)
Anti-Israel protest (illustrative)
Flash 90

Anti-Israel protesters disrupted a speech by Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub at Edinburgh University on Wednesday evening, The Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported.

The event, which was attended by approximately 150 students and organized by the Politics and International Relations Society, was disrupted by a group of anti-Israel activists from the university’s branch of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). 

A spokesman for the group said they “opposed the invitation of an official representative of a state which practices a system of apartheid.”

While university security and the ambassador’s own protection unit succeeded in restoring calm, ambassador Taub was unable to hold private meetings with Jewish students, as was originally intended.

“In my experience, people try to stop others from speaking when they have very little to say themselves,” said Taub.

“The vast majority of the students in the hall expressed their interest in hearing the ambassador and gathered on one side of the room to hear him speak and ask questions,” explained an Israeli embassy spokesman.

Professor Mark Aspinwall, chair of the event, apologized to the ambassador on behalf of the university.

Due to the disruption, the ambassador will be returning to Edinburgh from Glasgow to address members of Edinburgh University’s Jewish Society on Thursday afternoon, according to the JC.