Bedouin Israeli diplomat’s speech at U. Windsor disrupted, but he’s not upset

November 11, 2015

Recently Ishmael Khaldi spoke at the University of Windsor and despite the fact that he was “shouted down” by anti-Israel protestors, other students at the university listened to his message and understood its importance.

Ishmael Khaldi is an Israeli diplomat, currently assigned to the Israeli Embassy in London, and formerly at the Consulate in San Francisco.

Khaldi is the first Israeli diplomat who is Bedouin.  I have never met Khaldi, but I visited his home village of Khawaled in northern Israel last May, Khawaled Village – Bedouin Pride in Israel. Khaldi was was kind enough to retweet my post:

https://twitter.com/JoyKeller1/status/603988929591779329
So when I saw a report that Khaldi’s appearance as the University of Windsor in Canada was disrupted by anti-Israel protesters, I took note not just because of our tenuous connection, but also because it was reported around the time that Protesters shouted down an Israeli Professor at U. Minnesota law school.

Shout-downs and disruptions of Israeli and pro-Israeli speakers are commonplace on campuses.

The Canadian Jewish News reported on the incident at Windsor:

A group of anti-Israel students hijacked a lecture by Israel’s first Bedouin diplomat who had travelled to the University of Windsor to talk about his experience as a minority living in Israel because they “refused to allow a Zionist to lead the discussion on such a topic.” …

[Jewish Student Association president Trevor] Sher said he was tipped off that there was going to be a walkout protest of Khaldi’s talk, organized by a campus club called the Palestinian Solidarity Group….

Sher said Khaldi was about 10 minutes into his presentation when the protest began.

“He didn’t get into anything political. He started off by saying that protesting an event like his is a waste of time, saying, ‘I’m not a politician, I’m just here to share my experience and my story.’ He gave a few examples of the things he’s trying to do to foster peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” Sher said.

In a video uploaded to the Palestinian Solidarity Group’s Facebook page, the protesters can be seen interrupting Khaldi by standing in their seats and taking turns shouting slogans at Khaldi before walking out as a group. One student can be heard saying, “Shame on you for supporting terrorism.” …

A CJN request for comment from the Palestinian Solidarity Group was declined, but a post on the group’s Facebook page said, “we as pro-Palestinians refused to allow a Zionist to lead the discussion on such a topic… The pro-Palestinian voice is in charge of leading the discussions on Palestinian human rights on our campus, not Zionists.

“A constructive dialogue about Palestine cannot exist with anyone who denies the fundamental facts about the Palestinian occupation – that there is an illegal occupation… and that Israel by all measures is responsible for the vast majority of violence in Israel and Palestine.”

Sher said the protesters followed up their demonstration with an appearance on a campus radio station show, The Shake Up, during which the protesters compared Zionists to neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan.

“They said, the same way you wouldn’t let a neo-Nazi or a member of the KKK talk about black rights, you shouldn’t let a Zionist talk about Palestinian human rights,” Sher said…

To read the full article please go to Legal Insurrection and to learn more about the University of Windsor’s Emet for Israel supported group click here. Read more about Ishmael Khaldi’s event at University of Windsor here.

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