'They won't let me speak': Pro-Israel speaker silenced by 'anti-Zionists' (VIDEO)
The SJP chapter posted on Facebook before the event, saying that the speakers “queerness” will apparently “never make up for the violence underlying his advocacy for a settler colonial occupying state.”
A pro-Israel lecture was disrupted by SJP students on Thursday night.
A pro-Israel speaker at Vassar College was disrupted Thursday night, according to a statement by the college president.
A student organization, Vassar Organizing Israel Conversations Effectively, hosted pro-Isreael speaker and former member of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Han Mazzig, and was disrupted by the Vassar Students for Justice Palestine, according to the campus newspaper’s Twitter account.
Mazzig gave a speech titled “The Indigenous Jews of the Middle East: Forgotten Refugees,” which was disrupted by members of SJP who chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
According to a tweet by Mazzig, the members of SJP caused him to stop speaking at various points throughout the speech.
"They won't let me speak," Mazzig tweeted along with video of the disruptions.
They won’t let me speak. pic.twitter.com/l1NXzrMQQe
— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) November 15, 2019
The Vassar College President, Elizabeth Bradley, said in a statement that “we have fell short” of the expectations to “promote a sense of belonging” for everyone in the campus community.
“A student group brought a speaker to campus, who gave a lecture on 'The Indigenous Jews of the Middle East: Forgotten Refugees,'' Bradley said. “A group of students disrupted the speaker by chanting outside the lecture hall for some time. People who were in the lecture expressed that the chanting was intimidating and hard to listen to. The words have been associated by some people with anti-Semitism.”
She said that the students violated university policies, and said that the university will investigate the situation further to address the situation.
The Vassar SJP, before the event, posted a lengthy Facebook post stating that the event obscures “Israel’s settler-colonial project.”
“There is no two-sided conversation to be had when one party’s existence is predicated upon the forced dispossession, massacre, and total control of movement and access to resources of the other,” the group said.
Additionally, the group called Zionism “racist,” and said that Mazzig’s “queerness” doesn’t change anything.
“There is no such thing as progressive Zionism as Zionism is inherently racist and necessitates the displacement and subjugation of the Palestinian people,” SJP posted. “No matter how many pride parade pictures and drag race memes Mazzig posts, his queerness will never make up for the violence underlying his advocacy for a settler-colonial occupying state. BDS calls for us to refuse normalization of Zionism on all fronts and thus, we refuse to offer space for even more racism and imperialism on this campus.”
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