A pro-Palestine student group have ‘categorically condemned’ aggression of a mob that ran riot at a top London university during a talk by a former head of Israel’s secret service.
Police were called to King’s College London on Tuesday night as around 20 anti-Israel protesters set off fire alarms, smashed a window, hurled chairs and allegedly “assaulted” event co-host, Esther Endfield, who had arranged the talk by former Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon.
The protests forced the event, attended by around 60 people, to end early.
College principal, Professor Ed Byrne ordered an investigation into the protesters’ actions, whilst Government Minister for Universities, Jo Johnson condemned the “violent intimidation that curtails free speech.”
Following the incident, King’s College London Action Palestine said they “would like to categorically condemn any aggression that took place”.
KCLAP continued, they “planned to challenge Ami Ayalon and inform the audience of his complicity in the torture of Palestinians as former head of the Shin Bet.”
The group then distances itself from the violent demonstrators, saying it “escalated into a disruption [which] was beyond our control and not incited by any member of our committee.
KCLAP is not connected and does not control the actions of external attendees.
As stated we do not condone any aggressive reaction on our campuses.”
They add, they protested why they were not allowed to attend, and “we refute any involvement with what took place beyond this.”
Following the event, The Union of Jewish Students said “there can be no justification” for the “violence and intimidation” of the protesters.
The Board of Deputies President and Vice President condemned the actions as “violent and criminal ”, whilst the he Israeli Embassy said it was “shocking and shameful”, reflecting the “fear that groups centred around hatred of Israel harbour.”