Students at the University of Cambridge protested a talk given by former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert at the Judge Business School on Wednesday night, denouncing the former leader as a “war criminal”.
According to Varsity, “a poster campaign condemning his [Olmert’s] actions and declaring that he is ‘not welcome in Cambridge’” was launched ahead of the event.
Olmert, who was convicted of and jailed for accepting bribes and of obstruction of justice, gave a talk entitled ‘Israel as a start up nation’.
An email from the Cambridge Judge Business School inviting staff to attend the event, said: “We would like to keep this event low profile and we are not promoting it across the University”.
In a statement published Wednesday, Cambridge University Palestine Society said the invitation to Olmert was “deeply shameful”.
“As Prime Minister of Israel from 2006-9, he directly ordered and oversaw the bombardment and massacre of thousands of civillians in Lebanon and Gaza, decried as war crimes by Amnesty International and UNHRC inquiries”, the group said.
“Olmert is a war criminal who belongs in the dock of the International Criminal Court at the Hague, not at a canapé-laden reception and discussion in Cambridge”, the statement added.
“The title of Olmert’s appearance, ‘Israel as a start up nation’, adds insult to injury, revealing utter contempt on the part of JBS for the millions of Palestinian refugees dispossessed by Israel and denied the right to return to their homes, some of whom study and work at this University”.
Unidentified students subsequently plastered the walls of the entrance to the school with posters denouncing Olmert as a war criminal, along with slogans such as ‘Free Palestine’.