Video has emerged showing supporters of Israel being violent, aggressive and abusive during student protests against a speech by a former Israeli army officer at University College London (UCL) on Thursday evening.
At the start of one video, filmed by student journalists and published on The Independent newspaper’s website, pro-Israel organizer Elliot Miller can clearly be seen shoving another man into a peaceful pro-Palestinian demonstrator, whose arm is then grabbed by a security guard.
Student Rights published its own report on the event claiming that supporters of Israel had been “surrounded by assaults and racist chants” and had to be “escorted by the Metropolitan Police for our very physical safety.”
Miller himself claims protesters were “aggressive and violent.” A number of media outlets, including The Daily Telegraph and Jewish News, echoed this characterization and reported that police have received at least one allegation of assault.
But Miller’s portrayal of events may not be accurate. (It would not be the first time: the BBC previously upheld a complaint of inaccuracy about a story fed to it by Student Rights, which has a record of smearing Palestine solidarity activism).
There is no evidence of violence from pro-Palestinian demonstrators. In contrast, another video also documents aggression against Palestine solidarity activists:
In the footage, two young men can be seen lying down in protest inside the room where former Israeli army officer Hen Mazzig was due to speak.
A woman orders the pair to “stand up,” calling them “cowards.” She can then be seen stamping near one of the men’s heads before making a grab for his neck.