Middle East studies in the News
New Video Supports UT-Austin Israeli Studies Professor After Confrontion By Protesters [on Ami Pedahzur]
Anti-Israel students scream at Israeli Studies Prof. Ami Pedahzur as he urges them to participate in event.
Yesterday morning we posted about an incident at UT-Austin, in which protesters from the Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC), led by law student Mohammed Nabulsi, disrupted an event hosted by Professor Ami Pedahzur of UT's Institute for Israeli Studies. The invited guest speaker was Dr. Gil-Li Vardi from Stanford University.
For full details, see Anti-Israel students target UT-Austin Israeli Studies prof after disrupting his speech.
Since then, the dispute has gone national with attempts by PSC and its supporters to get Prof. Pedahzur fired based on an edited video released by PSC.
The edited video, however, shows the protesters refusing to leave or to participate, and instead shouting down others and chanting "Long Live the Intifada." The Intifadas have been the bloody series of uprisings which included suicide bombings (the Second Intifada which led to construction of the security barrier) and the current Knife Intifada which is ongoing. They also chanted "We want '48, we don't want two states" (a reference to the desire to undo the creation of Israel in 1948).
The edited PSC video does not show, contrary to PSC claims, an assault by Prof. Pedahzur; rather, it shows him trying to get the protesters to stop the disruption and to participate in the event.
Legal Insurrection has obtained exclusive video of the end of the event from the hallway outside which backs up Prof. Pedahzur's account.
The video starts with the chants (shown at the end of PSC's edited video). As the protesters move outside, they scream that pre-Independence Jews cooperated with the Nazis, and then they continue their chants. Prof. Pedahzur exits the room into the hallway and again asks the protesters to participate in the event, but they just scream at him some more.
The police then arrive, and the protesters continue screaming.
This is crucial evidence, because the protesters are claiming there was an assault and an unwillingness to hear their views. But in fact Prof. Pedahzur urges them to stop screaming and to participate.
This video again shows the protesters as being purely interested in disruption and interfering with the event.
There is a climate of intimidation and threats against Israeli and pro-Israeli speakers. We recently covered the disruption of a speech by an Israeli professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, and of an Israeli diplomat at the University of Windsor.
The UT-Austin academic leadership will have to decide whether it will continue to tolerate disruption of speeches and events through mob rule.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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