Queen’s U Belfast Student Union says ‘Solidarity with Palestine’ during Israeli ambassador visit

The Student Union of Queen’s University in Belfast staged a sit-in today in protest at the visit of Israeli ambassador Mark Regev to the university, to express their solidarity with Palestinian people:

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The protest also aimed to highlight attempts by pro-Israel activists to prevent discussion on university campuses of the plight of Palestinians and the promotion of the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign to boycott goods and services from illegally occupied Palestinian territories.

The Zionist Federation responded to the student union’s tweet about their opposition by asking whether the students “support the call from protesters to eradicate Israel from map [sic]”:

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However, an examination of the image it posted to support its question didn’t appear to contain anything showing a call for the eradication of Israel, simply expressions of support and calls for BDS:

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Numerous troll accounts and others attacked the students for their protest, including – with astonishing ignorance of history – complaints that students or universities should not be political.

But other Twitter users congratulated them for their principled stand or criticised Israel’s ‘racist’ nation-state law. The meeting between Regev and the university’s vice-chancellor seems to have proceeded peacefully.

Universities are not the only places where attempts have been made to shut down protests or pro-BDS campaigns. Barnet council recently passed a motion to withdraw support for, and refuse venue bookings by, organisations who support BDS, in spite of council workers’ unions officially supporting the campaign.

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8 responses to “Queen’s U Belfast Student Union says ‘Solidarity with Palestine’ during Israeli ambassador visit

  1. Well done Queens U, democracy is under threat and you are part of the fight

  2. Well done to those students. As a Queens Alum myself I support the protest and am glad it was all done in a peaceful way.

  3. Will Labour NEC now ban University students from being members of the Labour Party, or just those from Queen’s Uni. Belfast? We live in interesting times, about to get more interesting.

  4. Apropos Barnet, that motion by the tories was NOT passed since it was NOT discussed in the full council meeting, rather transfered to the policy committee. This motion is going to be discussed on the 23rd this month however.

    • Yes, an important correction. When I last looked at the motion, I couldn’t believe that any council in their right mind would pass it. I hope Ron/SB will keep us briefed.

  5. I take my hat off to these students. They are brave and principled.

    As for the university management. Those who have gotten into bed with Isreal elicit in me the usual emotional reaction I feel whenever I hear the words ‘Nick Clegg’.

  6. From The Irish News:

    “Mr Regev, a former lecturer on international relations and strategy at the Israel Defense Forces Staff College, has served as the Israeli ambassador since 2016.
    He was the spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem from 2004 to 2007.”

    The “and strategy” part strongly suggests that he personally engineered the “Corbyn antisemitism” project before his ambassadorial appointment and was appointed specifically to implement it.

    I’d say he’s outstayed his welcome.

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