An Israeli speaker that will address a top London university is “not concerned” about any possible demonstrations, a week after police were called when a violent mob disrupted a similar event.
King’s College London Israel Society will host peace negotiator Gershon Baskin on Thursday, the first event to be held by the society after protesters interrupted a talk with Ami Ayalon, a former head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service, last Tuesday.
The mob smashed windows, threw chairs, and “assaulted” the co-host of the event. Police were called and investigated the violence, which was condemned by MPs and community leaders.
When asked if he was concerned at appearing after the disruption last Tuesday, Gershon Baskin, said “I’m not concerned, I don’t think there will be anything. I wouldn’t mind if there would be, I’ve almost never been protested or demonstrated against by anyone from any side.”
Baskin, who was instrumental in the negotiations to release kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit after his abduction in 2006 added, that he “invites everyone in”, and the audiences he hosts are often ‘diverse’ with “people who don’t agree with me.”
“I don’t know what’s going to be there, and I don’t mind if there is some action.”
As the founder and Co-Chairman of IPCRI – Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, Baskin is well known for promoting co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians.
He said he had not been contacted by authorities about security prior to the event, adding “I’m sure they [King’s College Israel Society] had to inform the campus police or administration that there is another event and they will be on guard I imagine.”
King’s College Israel Society have been asked to make the event ticketed, and open only to KCL students.