BDS activists tried to block IDF veterans from speaking on campus
BDS supporters protested two Israeli Defense Forces veterans who visited Stockton University in Atlantic City to speak to students.
'Before, they used to fight in the war; now they’re fighting in the media,' said the head of the group that organized the speech.
BDS activists allegedly attempted to disrupt a speech at Stockton University delivered by two wounded veterans of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
Or Porat and Ofir Anidjar visited Stockton’s campus Nov. 3 as part of a tour organized by Belev Echad, a New York-based organization that supports wounded IDF veterans. When they approached the room where they were scheduled to speak to students, activists “tried to block the two from entering the conference room,” according to Ynet News.
Video posted by Ynet News shows protesters crowding outside the conference room where the event took place. They carried signs with photos of people on them, plus a poster reading, “These are the children YOU killed.”
Rabbi Uriel Vigler, Belev Echad’s founder and executive director, told Campus Reform that the protest intimidated some interested students at the New Jersey school out of attending.
“A lot of the students were afraid to come in, um, so the event was much smaller than intended,” Vigler said. “Before, [the veterans] used to fight in the war; now they’re fighting in the media.”
The Stockton University event was part of a larger campus tour that also visited the University of Pennsylvania, Queens College, Michigan State University, Florida State University, and Florida International University.
Rabbi Meir Rapoport of the local Chabad group helped organize the event. He told Campus Reform:
"We are ok with the fact that they protested using their freedom of speech. If anything, it helped the students to have a better understanding of the conflict and of the misinformation that is often portrayed regarding Israel. The students left the event more pro-Israel than when they entered."
Vigler says his organization works with local Chabad groups to host the events and that the Stockton event was the only one that garnered protests.
Chabad at Stockton University did not respond to a request for comment.
Vigler says the protest “actually emboldened [the veterans], encouraged them, showed them, and demonstrated to them that the work they do is so vital and so important.” He said, “We cannot back down in the face of resistance…and at the end of the day, the truth will prevail.”
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