TIMESONLINE… Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister is considering pressing charges against a pro-Palestinian protester who allegedly hurled racist abuse at him during an address at the Oxford Union.
Danny Ayalon was addressing the student audience on Monday evening when protesters waving Palestinian flags began shouting in Arabic and English.
One was alleged to have shouted the Arabic phrase “Idhbah al-yahud”, meaning “kill the Jews”, before being ejected by security.
The Israeli Embassy in London was examining video footage of the incident yesterday to determine whether the phrase was uttered. If so, it could lead to hate crimes charges.
Mr Ayalon, a member of the right-wing nationalist party Yisrael Beitenu, said he had a moral duty to press charges against the protesters, believed to be a member of a pro-Palestinian student society at Oxford.
“This demonstrates our new policy on hatred and racism and we will have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism, something that should have happened a long time ago,” he told reporters.
The incident is another embarrassment for the British Government following the row over war crimes arrest warrants being issued for Israeli officials visiting London.
Mr Ayalon is the first senior Israeli official to come to Britain since the former foreign minister Tzipi Livni cancelled her trip after a British court issued her with an arrest warrant.
University security guards intervened as protesters called out “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea”.
The same day at the University of California, police arrested 12 students who disrupted a speech by the Israeli Ambassador to the United States.
Hecklers interrupted Michael Oren’s lecture more than ten times, shouting “killers” and “how many Palestinians did you kill?”, forcing him to take a 20-minute break.
The arrested students were apparently members of the university’s Muslim Student Union, which had publicly condemned the visit.