Electronic Intifada is happy to report that counter-hasbara is still growing on campus in spite of attempts of repressing Palestine solidarity activism. Here's how they report Essex University's response to the recent protests against the visit of Israel's deputy ambassador to the UK, Alon Roth-Snir:
Roth-Snir had said little more than “hello” before students in the invite-only audience stood up and started reading from a prepared statement, filibustering his talk. As I reported at the time, the lecture was soon abandoned, and Roth-Snir ultimately left campus with his tail between his legs.
Last week the university’s Vice-Chancellor Anthony Forster sent an email to all staff and students, seen by The Electronic Intifada. In it he threatened “an investigation into potential breaches of the University’s Disciplinary Regulations” over the protests of students against the aborted lecture.
He also wrote that the university would ask the the Students’ Union if it considered whether the actions breached their Code of Conduct.
Student Union President Nathan Bolton soon hit back. “It is not up to the University to define legitimate protest when we face a representative of a state who commits crimes every day,” he responded on Facebook.
He also demanded that no disciplinary action be taken against the students, and for full disclosure over how the event was organized.
At least one member of the university department that hosted Roth-Snir has denied to students that they invited the Israeli representative.
Students have told me they think that the Israeli embassy effectively invited themselves and that many staff in the department were opposed to his talk.
So why isn't the Vice-Chancellor interested in whoever invited "a representative of a state who commits crimes every day"?