Two high ranking Israeli officials were heckled during speeches at universities on opposite sides of the world on Monday and Tuesday.
At the University of California at Irvine (UCI) campus on Monday night, 12 people were arrested after disrupting a speech by Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. On Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon’s speech at Oxford University in London was disrupted when protesters yelled at Ayalon during his speech and waved a Palestinian flag.
Those arrested for disturbing the peace included 12 students from UCI, UC Riverside and other institutions
The hecklers, who were part of a large group sitting together, yelled things like “propagating murder is not an expression of free speech,” and “you sir, are accomplice to genocide.” Every person who stood up to yell at the Ambassador was immediately taken out of the auditorium and arrested. One woman yelled, “When I go to the West Bank I get treated like crap!” as she was being escorted out to the building.
Many of the slogans were impossible to hear over the screaming, clapping encouragement from members of the group.
Scores of audience members shouted and gestured at the group of hecklers, cheering when the group left the auditorium.
Ambassador Oren, who was speaking on the historical relationship between America and Israel, was forced to stop less than two minutes into his speech and left the podium several times because of hecklers. At one point after returning to the podium, Oren said, “It’s not London, it’s not Jerusalem, but it’s also not Tehran.”
The entire group, which was linked to the campus Muslim Student Union, was eventually removed from the premises. Many stayed in a group outside of the building, yelling, “Michael Oren you will see, Palestine will be free.”
See the video of Oren’s speech here: