Jewish student assaulted during anti-Israel riot

Video shows assault which occurred during unprecedented violence by pro-Palestinian activists; 'plenty of other people were hurt.'

Ari Soffer ,

Pro-Palestinian activist in London (file)
Pro-Palestinian activist in London (file)

Video footage has been released showing the moment a Jewish pro-Israel student was violently assaulted during an anti-Israel riot at Kings College London University (KCLU) on Tuesday evening.

Esther Endfield, who is President of KCLU Israel Society, was attacked during an event in which former Shin Bet chief and Israeli left-wing activist Ami Ayalon was speaking. Anti-Israel activists threw chairs and smashed a window during the incident, as they attempted to violently disrupt Ayalon's talk.

Endfield described the attack, which left her in tears, in a Facebook post the next day (in full at the end of this article), and filed a criminal complaint with police.

Video of the assault was only released late Wednesday evening, and shows an anti-Israel activist hitting Endfield as she filmed the violent protest.

A campaigns organizer for KCLU Israel Society also filmed some of the violent protest from outside, in which anti-Israel extremists can be see banging on the windows and attempting to force their way inside. Both videos were handed to Arutz Sheva, and footage can be seen below:

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Endfield said she felt "absolutely terrified" during the incident. She said that while she was the only person so far to have filed a criminal complaint, at least one other person was "slapped in the face" by anti-Israel activists, including individuals identified as members of the "Action Palestine" student group from both KCLU and the London School of Economics (LSE).

Action Palestine had openly called for a protest of the event, although it is not clear if everyone involved were members of the group.

"I was outside the room but inside the building where the talk was going to take place," Endfield recounted to Arutz Sheva. She noted that among the large number of people not allowed inside the room - which was already filled to capacity - were a significant number of Action Palestine activists.

"As we went to shut the doors and go inside a mob of people just came and pushed through the door, trying to get into the building," she said. "I was violently pushed... people started throwing chairs - you can see the chairs scattered on the floor in the video.

"Then this girl came towards me - I was trying to video it - and she came towards me and hit me. In the video it's very clear... My phone fell to the ground.

"I was probably the only one who reported it to the police but there were plenty of other people who were hurt that night."

Kings' College University has said it is opening an investigation into the violence, which was condemned by several senior British politicians and Jewish leaders.

The full text of Endfield's Facebook response is posted below:

Never did I ever think that I would have to write a post like this, but in life sometimes you do things that you never expect. This evening KCL Israel Society along with LSE Israel Society (David and Jamie) attempted to host an event with Admiral Ami Ayalon (not going to write up his bio, but he is now considered a peace activist and was the former head of the Shin Bet).

Protests by KCL action Palestine at this event was inevitable but it was never inevitable that it would turn violent, not to the point that I have just reported being assaulted to the police (which is also being investigated under a hate crime), not to the point that there were chairs thrown at the room and at me, not to the point where they were so violent that Kings College London windows have been smashed, not to the point where two police cars and two police vans along with 15 + officers came to protect the people inside the room, not to the point that people were running up and down the 4 story building on each floor so set the fire alarms off probably 15+ times, not to the point that I was crying hysterically for over half an hour because I was so terrified, not to the point where my event had to be stopped and the building evacuated because college security and the police were so scared that they would light a real fire and that we wouldn’t know because of the false alarms. When did I become so unsafe in one of the global universities in the world that we can no longer hold an event without being scared for our safety.

What if I hadn’t arranged the 3 campus security guards plus 3 Safe Space Offers ( plus 7 other staff- included KCL and KCLSU staff), what if all the protesters had got into the building, what if they had managed to get into the room and started throwing the chairs at the people inside, what if they had started hitting not only windows but speaker and the people attending, what if they had set a fire, what if I had actually got hit so badly that I would actually have been hurt to the point that I would have been injured, what if KCL Action Palestine would have come to event with questions and challenged the speaker in a respectful and peaceful manner…

Also sincere apologies to the 200+ people that came to our event to listen and learn, I’m truly sorry that it turned violent and to the 150 of you that got turned away because only 56 people being allowed into the room. Thank you for coming along and giving an Israel society a chance to have its voice heard. Despite us being shut down early I heard that he was actually a great speaker and I wish I could have been inside the room to listen instead of being barrcading against the door by 4 security officers and hope that in the future that no student society event ever gets violent and looking forward to seeing you all at the next event.