In 2016, a talk by an Israeli activist at University College London was met by a violent protest; eventually police had to escort the participants to safety, past a jeering mob. Such happenings have become commonplace on British campuses, where anti-Israel sentiment runs high. No small amount of responsibility belongs to the BBC, which dominates reporting and consistently paints a distorted picture of events in the Middle East. But, writes Tamara Berens, there are other causes as well:
Organizations in the UK, including charities and political advocacy groups, are often funded by networks linked to Palestinian terrorist entities. . . . On campus, these organizations play a prominent role in both isolating pro-Israel students and indoctrinating well-meaning but uninformed individuals into blind support for anti-Zionism.
Opposition to Israel is woven into the very fabric of several prominent British universities. At King’s College London and University College London, employees of the student unions organized aggressive protests against, respectively, the Israeli ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, and the former Israeli deputy prime minister Dan Meridor. At King’s College most recently, . . . the student union supported [public] mourning for nineteen Hamas, Fatah, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Islamic Jihad terrorists killed during Gaza border riots over the summer. . . .
British administrators are too often cowardly in their dealings with anti-Israel aggression on campus. . . . Anti-Zionist organizations have successfully gained the upper hand by holding universities hostage with constant threats of disruptive protests and negative media coverage. The result is that Jewish students are left at an unjust disadvantage when attempting to host events to celebrate Israel and their own Jewish identities.