Police were required to quell protests during a pro-Israel speaking event at the University of Minnesota on Tuesday. The speaking event was hosted by the school’s Students Supporting Israel club, and featured a panel of military Reservists talking about the role of religion in their lives – among other topics.
The protester started disrupting the event almost immediately, marching up and down the aisle of the auditorium screaming anti-Jewish slurs. After numerous failed attempts were made to get her to settle down, or to placate her by allowing her to ask a question or two, the campus police were called. The woman, identified as “Leila,” was a hajib-wearing African American, who recently graduated in Social Justice and Sociology from the college.
The black Muslim woman called the speakers “rats,” and “genocide apologists,” during her 10-minute tirade, before campus police were able to quell her.
Founder of the national Students Supporting Israel organization, Ilan Sinelnikov, responded to news of the protest, clarifying that the University of Minnesota chapter initially tried to resolve the matter peacefully but the protestor ignored all demands to stop the disruptions. Sinelnikov also recalled that the protester claimed that the police that dragged her away were white supremacists. Sinelnikov took to social media and said, “The police did their job and I am thankful for UMPD for being so great.” He also warned anti-Israeli activists on campus to avoid such interventions stating, “that there are results to their actions.”
The Minnesota Students Supporting Israel vowed better security at future events – as they have an upcoming event where a former Israeli soldier will share his experiences with the club.
This is not the first time an event of this nature is met with similar negativity from a particular individual or group. Similar situation was created at University of California campus last semester when an event was disrupted by a group of chanting protestors.
The former student, “Leila” was warned against returning to the campus in the future.