Dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters disrupted Wednesday a lecture by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat at the San Francisco State University, shouting heckles as he tried to speak and calling for the resumption of the intifada.
- The pro-Palestinian Jewish Activists on U.S. College Campuses
- The Commander Behind the pro-Israel Student Troops on U.S. College Campuses
Barkat is currently on a public advocacy tour of university campuses throughout the United States to discuss Jerusalem and Israeli political positions. The protesters entered the lecture room carrying megaphones and wearing kaffiyehs and Palestinian flags, frequently interrupting Barkat's remarks.
They raised their fists in protest while calling for the continuation of the intifada, as well as for the end of the occupation, chanting: "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." They called for Barkat to leave the campus and labled Israel a state of terror and apartheid.
Police were called to the scene, where officers and security guards were assigned to protect Barkat. The mayor insisted on continuing the talk, while violent and loud demonstrations continued outside. Barkat left the podium to talk amongst the crowd, where he continued to answer students' questions.
"Anyone who thinks that calls for violence and wild incitement will silence us or distract us is seriously mistaken," Barkat said. "We will continue to build, develop and strengthen the State of Israel and a untied Jerusalem, and we will continue to voice our positions and we'll voice them anywhere that invites us, including in places where some attempt to disrupt us."
Barkat added that he voiced his protest of the incident to the university president and San Francisco's mayor, and called on them to now allow such an incident to occur against a democratic country, particularly on a college campus.
Barkat will continue his tour and is scheduled to address hundreds of students at Columbia University in New York on Friday.