Protests greet 'Breaking the Silence' at Hebrew U.

Protesters disrupt talk by anti-IDF NGO invited to Jerusalem university by left-wing student group, are forcibly removed.

Eliran Ahaon ,

רגע לפני המחאה באירוע "שוברים שתיקה"
רגע לפני המחאה באירוע "שוברים שתיקה"
צילום: אלירן אהרון

A stormy welcome was waiting for the far-left Breaking the Silence NGO at Jerusalem's Hebrew University Sunday, after the anti-IDF group appeared at the invitation of a left-wing student group.

Breaking the Silence was hosted by the Ofek student society, which is affiliated with the left-wing Labor Party, and was attended by other leftist activists and students.

But other students didn't take too kindly to the extremist group appearing on campus. Opponents staged a noisy demonstration inside the lecture hall, disrupting proceedings for some time before being forcibly ejected as both sides traded insults and accusations.

At the same time the Likud-affiliated Lavi student society staged a protest vigil outside the lecture theater where the event was taking place. That counter-demo was attended by MKs Sharon Haskel (Likud) and Shuli Mualem (Jewish Home), as well as Yosef Kalangel, father of IDF Major Yochai Kalangel, who was killed in a 2014 Hezbollah missile attack along Israel's northern border with Syria.

Breaking the Silence has hit headlines in Israel amid a campaign against far-left NGOs funded by foreign countries to sully Israel's image abroad. Breaking the Silence in particular was featured in a controversial video by the right-wing Im Tirzu group which "named and shamed" several far-left activists, and after it was banned from Israeli schools and military bases due to its hostile activities.