A lecture given by Israel's Deputy Ambassador to Britain Talya Lador-Fresher at the University of Manchester deteriorated Wednesday into violence when pro-Palestinian protesters stormed at the diplomat in an attempted attack.
The protesters were waiting for Lador-Fresher outside the lecture hall, but this did not deter her from entering as planned. Immediately upon her exit, the protesters lunged at the diplomat, prompting security guards to whisk her back into the hall. Following a consultation on the site, it was decided to escort her out of the premises in a police car.
The deputy ambassador was removed from the hall and into the police vehicle. However, this did not block the protesters, who surrounded the car and climbed on the hood, trying to break the windshield.
Lador-Fresher ultimately was taken away from the scene safe and sound.
Of course, if anyone gets arrested, we can expect to see some thugs protesting on behalf of the attackers. That will be the usual joy to behold.
UPDATE: At the very least, the statement by the University of Manchester is quite tone-deaf:
A Manchester University spokesman said: “The University is fundamentally committed to freedom of speech, exercised within the law. It follows that it should also allow peaceful and lawful protest to take place on its campus.
“We took all reasonable action to put appropriate security measures in place for this meeting, including a complete lockdown of the building, a high-level security presence, ID checks at the door and ticket-only arrangements.”
I think, being charitable, that the spokesman is not saying that surrounding the ambassador's car and bashing on the windshield is a "peaceful protest", but rather that the University's security arrangements were designed to allow both the diplomat to speak and for "peaceful and lawful protest" to occur. Still, it certainly could be interpreted as a dismissal of the violent nature of the attack here. Given the current atmosophere in British universities, it is fair to ask that their officials take a more unambiguous line on these sort of issues.