A leading London university has suspended its Palestine Solidarity Society after it hosted a convicted terrorist at a campus event.
Ahmed Alfaleet, who served 20 years in prison for the 1992 murder of an Israeli soldier in Gaza, appeared via video link during a question and answer session at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in January.
Video footage from the event shows Alfaleet – who was released in a 2011 prisoner swap deal and is now a Hebrew teacher – telling an Israeli student that the fatal terror attack was consistent with his people’s “right to resist”.
Asked whether he regretted the incident, he added: “It’s not a matter of being happy about it or sad about it, it’s a matter of staying alive or not.”
QMUL Students’ Union – who did not approve Alfaleet’s appearance and say the event violated several of its regulations – has since banned the Palestine Solidarity Society from holding campus events for a period of eight weeks.
Its President, Carolina Mantzalos, said: “The Palestine Solidarity Society was suspended by the Students’ Union following an event which took place on 26 January 2016. The Society received three strikes in accordance with the SU’s Fair Usage Room Booking Policy.”
“As a result, the Palestine Solidarity Society was prohibited from booking rooms and holding campus events for a period of eight weeks.”
Mantzalos’ statement cited the repetitional risk placed upon the Students’ Union in allowing a speaker as controversial as Alfaleet to speak as one of the reasons for the eight-week ban.
The group was also sanctioned for inviting five rather than two speakers onto QMUL’s campus, which also plays host to a 70-strong Jewish Society.