Pro-Palestinian protesters prevented a speech by the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Ze’ev Boker, from going ahead on Monday at Trinity College, Dublin.
Trinity’s Society for International Affairs had invited Boker to give a 15-minute speech followed by a question and answer session.
A group of approximately 40 protesters from Students for Justice in Palestine (TCD) demonstrated and chanted slogans outside the arts block venue where the event was due to take place. The students demanded the event be cancelled because the ambassador would not provide “a balanced picture of what is happening in Palestine”.
The students also called on the university administration to ban all contacts with Israel.
Students for Justice in Palestine (TCD) founding member Ciaran O’Rourke said they conducted a peaceful protest outside the venue.
“We feel that until the human rights in civil society groups are respected, then we should show that solidarity to them (the Palestinians) as was the case with anti-apartheid movements, as was the case with movements around the civil rights era where boycotts were also used as a tactic,” O’Rourke told the Irish Times.
“Freedom of expression applies as much to the Palestinian students and academics as it does to figures representing the state of Israel.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Emmanuel Nahshon, described the cancellation of the event as “shameful surrender to the threats of the illegal movement to boycott Israel”.
“We cannot allow extremists to dictate the agenda,” he said.
— Israel Foreign Min. (@IsraelMFA) February 21, 2017