|Ami Ayalon lecture interrupted at King's College London|
|It is now customary on Western campuses for Palestinian and pro-Palestinian activists to disrupt lectures by Israelis. IAM reported on the previous cases such as Ami Pedahtzur at the University of Texas. Last week it was former Shin-Bet chief, Admiral (ret.) Ami Ayalon in King's College London.
It is worth noting that the Israeli lecturers that belong to the peace camp are also targeted. Ayalon is a case in point. In 2002, Ayalon co-sponsored with Sari Nussiebeh the peace initiative which was signed by over 420,000 individual Israelis and Palestinians. In 2005 Ayalon toured the US to promote The People’s Voice Initiative for an Israeli-Palestinian peace, on behalf of Amenu, a group promoting Progressive Zionism. As described in the article "Israeli Security Chief Turns to Peace Activism" it was a grassroots effort aimed at giving the Israeli and Palestinian leaders the support needed to make peace.
This initiative promoted two states for the two peoples; The borders will be based on the June 4, 1967 borders, with mutually agreed territorial swap; Jerusalem will be the capital of both states. The Arab neighborhoods will be under Palestinian sovereignty, Jewish neighborhoods under Israeli sovereignty, and the holy basin under no sovereignty; Palestinian refugees will return only to Palestine. Jews will return only to Israel; The Palestinian state will be demilitarized; and an end of conflict."
In his article "My Vision for Peace" Ayalon wrote, "We Israelis see Hamas as a terror organization and we are right. But we must understand that Hamas is not only a terrorist organization. It is also a way of life and a religious movement. Hamas has charities, they have municipal organizations, and they have financial organizations. Hamas will not fight against the will of the Palestinian street. They will not use terror when Palestinians do not approve of terrorism as a legitimate tool."
"When Palestinians see progress in the political process (the peace process) they do not approve terror as a legitimate tool. This is why when the Palestinians felt like they were achieving freedom, less humiliation, and an improved economy they did not approve of Hamas or terror. For this reason the PA could fight against terror and Hamas without being perceived as Israeli collaborators. I used to meet the Palestinian security leaders monthly. People like Jibril Rajub, Mohammad Dahlan, Hamin al-Hindi and others. We met to share information and cooperate in fighting terror."
"They cooperated with me because they understood that at the end of the road they will achieve their freedom as a result of the process which included fighting terror."
"What we understood then was that the hope of the Palestinian people was the main reason why we were able to reduce the level of violence the way we did it during the late 1990’s. In a way this is the main assumption of the People’s Voice campaign. We have to create hope amongst Palestinians and Israelis because this will create the necessary energy to do what needs to be done. For the Palestinians this means fighting terror the way they did in the late 1990’s."
For the lecture in King's College Ayalon was brought by Yachad which engages British Jewry in education and debate around the Israel-Palestine conflict and "work to galvanise the British Jewish community in support of a two-state solution."
The violent disturbance at King's College London prompted Ed Byrne, the President, to announce an investigation into the case.
The interruption at the Ayalon lecture is not an aberration, and indeed, not limited to Israel only. It is part of a larger phenomenon on Western campuses where freedom of speech is reserved for the politically correct group. All others have to be silenced though intimidation and harassment.