Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Grace under fire. Ayalon
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
One of the demonstrators
Photo courtesy of the Israeli Embassy in London

Ayalon faces hostile academic crowd in UK

Deputy foreign minister remains calm while verbally attacked by students attending London lecture

(VIDEO) LONDON – Despite securing a promise  by the UK's Foreign Office that he would not be arrested upon arrival there, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon was not exempt from the rage of pro-Palestinian demonstrators waiting for him both outside and inside a lecture hall in London.


One protestor at the Oxford University hall, where Ayalon spoke Tuesday, waved the Palestinian flag and interrupted Ayalon's lecture for several long minutes, during which he did not stop yelling at the Israeli minister and called him a "racist" and "a war criminal."


Video courtesy of the Israeli Embassy in London


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Many in the crowd cheered the interruption, and applauded the demonstrator as he was escorted out of the lecture hall by security.


The incident was the unfortunate "highlight" of an already troubled lecture: While Ayalon's address began in a rather routine fashion, about 15 minutes into the lecture, while he was reviewing the challenges of the Middle East, one of the Oxford students stood up and began reading excerpts from the Goldstone Report aloud, ignoring her fellow students' requests to stop for several minutes.


Ayalon resumed his speech, but was soon interrupted again, this time by a student who declared herself Lebanese and began yelling anti-Israeli slogans. She remained standing the entire length of the lecture, repetitively interrupting Ayalon.


Oxford personnel attempted to calm the crowd, saying their behavior was improper and a violation of the school's academic debate guidelines, but to no avail.


Ayalon patiently addressed all claims and refrained from engaging in a public altercation. Eventually, one of the students got up, demanded his peers' attention, and apologized to Ayalon – to roaring applause – for the behavior of the rogue students.


פרסום ראשון: 02.09.10, 18:46
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