Uproar outside the Union as Israeli ambassador makes his appearance

It all kicked off last night

israel oxford Palestine Town Union

Angry protesters gathered outside the Oxford Union last night to rally against the Israeli ambassador’s appearance. 

Emotional pro-Palestinian demonstrators, armed with chants and banners, staged the protest outside the Union from 7.30 to 9.00pm – while Daniel Taub made his speech about the ongoing Gaza conflict.

Protestors sang chants such as “Israel is a terrorist state”.

Raging protesters were heard shouting chants such as “Israel is a terrorist state”.

Taub even spoke out about the protesters when loud shouting could be heard from inside the building during his speech.

He said: “I just want to express my sadness that at a university like this, people who could have made a significant contribution to and could have presented a different perspective to the course of the discussion, chose not to be inside the room, but outside the room.”

“There are many things we have a shortage of in our part of the world, but negative energy is not one of them.”

Look at that smile

His speech was met with applause from the Union members.

But many protesters were left fuming. One student told The Tab: “The fact the Union are accommodating him shows that they’re not against Israel”.

A second year Historian said: “A lot of people are here just to hear what he’s got to say, but the fact he’s here at all is annoying”.

Is that a Guy Fawkes mask?

Others felt less strongly about his Union appearance. Susanna from Wolfson College said: “I agree with the people standing here, but at the same time I want to see the speech to hear the other point of view”.

Another protestor, Daniel Young, said: “Inviting a speaker to the Oxford Union is a giant theatrical performance that displays power and grants it the aura of scholarship to produce a sense of legitimacy.”

“Responding in the format of the event still plays along with this script (and, besides, it is unlikely that the event will truly be structured to allow a real exchange).”

Chants and shouting could be heard from outside

He continued: “I think we can object to the entire process by protesting and insisting that the position of the Israeli state is not a legitimate one according to the canon of human rights and basic morality.”

“Events like this can make a statement about what actions by a state are and are not acceptable to the community of Oxford, and I think that Oxford should not condone apartheid and murder.”

The Oxford Union issued the following statement from their press office before the event: “The Union has invited him to speak, and he will speak. The Union doesn’t endorse anyone – we invite people who have something interesting to say.”

“The purpose of The Union is to allow freedom of speech. This is a man who speaks almost every night of the year, and we think that our members are looking forward to meeting him in person.”

Pro-Palestinian protestors took to Facebook before the event to brand Taub as “a servant of a barbaric state”, accusing him of being on a “propaganda offensive”.