In a move that broke union policy, the UCL Friends of Israel society persisted in bringing former lieutenant of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Hen Mazzig to speak at the college yesterday. A number of individuals gathered at UCL yesterday to protest this move, which was never approved by the University College London Union (UCLU, and therefore seen by the union as an offensive on their role as student representatives. As seen from numerous video footage, a peaceful protest took place in which smiling pro-Palestine supporters handed out leaflets and shared information with the Friends of Israel. Despite this, Mazzig and many others have described the scenes as “a war zone”, which is totally laughable, and disturbingly ironic given the oppressive and violent context from which he comes. Other news outlets claim that the protests ‘got out of hand’ however it only takes a quick search of video footage to demonstrate that this is simply untrue.
In fact it is the barrage of inflammatory comments that are getting out of hand. Peaceful protest is a civil right that will and should be used in these situations. Perhaps Hen Mazzig was taken aback by the fact that there was any resistance at all. Highly doubtful given the hashtag #LetHenSpeak circulated by Hen Mazzig himself, it seems he was fully aware that he would meet protestors opposing his speech. Unbalanced reports like these lead protesters to call into question the way they are unfairly represented by some media.
 ‘Police called as Jewish students ‘trapped in room’ by protesters’, Evening Standard 28th October 2016. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/university-college-london-police-called-as-jewish-students-trapped-in-room-by-propalestine-a3381061.html
‘Police called to ‘violent’ anti-Israel student protest’, Jewish News, 28th October 2016. http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/ucl-violence-a/