Students at University College London (UCL) attending the Friends of Israel event where Israeli writer Hen Mazzig was speaking described “terrifying” scenes as they locked themselves inside a lecture room when about 100 protesters started chanting and banging on the doors.
Student Devora Khafi, a campus director for pro-Israel group StandWithUs UK, claimed she suffered a panic attack after allegedly being assaulted by a pro-Palestinian activist on Thursday evening.
She described the protest as “a whirlwind of hate”.
Writing on Twitter, she said: “I was assaulted. We were attacked. But freedom will prevail.”
Mr Mazzig’s appearance was given the green light at the last minute but was seen as controversial due to his time with the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).
Footage showed crowds of pro-Palestine campaigners with placards who were shouting “shame” at those who had come for the talk and were trapped inside.
Mr Mazzig posted a Facebook live video showing more than 20 policemen trying to put themselves in between a crowd shouting “free, free Palestine” and the room where the lecture was.
A man banging on the window is then heard saying: “From river to the sea, Palestinian will be free.”
In the video, the Israeli speaker said: “I don’t think that even in my days in the IDF it was as bad as it is right now.
“It’s really scary. I hear they’ve been attacking some girls, Jewish girls who came to support my talk and wow, it’s crazy, they’re really out of their mind.”
He said he managed to escape from the room by disguising himself as a security guard, after being ordered to by the police.
Elliot Miller, who works as the National Organiser for Student Rights at The Henry Jackson Society think tank, said: “Students who deprive others of basic rights through intimidating protest should be disciplined.
“Student Rights will stand for personal safety and basic liberties and combat bigotry at every opportunity.
“At present, Jews all too often find they have no safe space on campus, and when confronted with aggressive and violent protesters, universities often fail to adequately provide the necessary security”
UCL and its union said they “do not condone acts of intimidation or violence under any circumstances and, as a university with a longstanding radical history, we fiercely support the right to exercise free speech within the law”.
In a statement they said they worked with their security team and the Metropolitan police to ensure the event could go ahead.
They added: “It was widely advertised and open to the public, and as a result a small but noisy group of protesters attended and occupied the rooms where the event was originally meant to take place.
“We regret protesters took measures to try to prevent the event from happening but stress that the protest was non-violent.”
A spokesman for Campaign Against Antisemitism, told Express.co.uk: “One has to ask why Israeli Jewish speakers attract such angry, violent protest, whilst Israeli non-Jewish speakers do not.
“The fact is that almost half of the world’s Jews live in Israel, which is the physical centre of the Jewish religion, yet universities are quite happy for these violent bullies to protest anything short of Jewish students in Britain fully severing their ties with Israel.
“Criticism of Israel is not antisemitic, but these protests are not criticism, they are a deliberate campaign of harassment and bullying, and their targets are overwhelmingly Jewish students.
“The perpetrators must be investigated and punished where crimes or breaches of university rules of conduct have occurred. Universities must get their act together and provide proper security on campus.”
Scotland Yard said they were called at 7pm to the university campus in central London where officers let the demonstration go ahead after speaking to UCL’s security officers.
Police remained at the scene until the meeting ended safely, a spokeswoman said.
She added: “Following this, a woman made an allegation of common assault to officers and this is currently being investigated by Camden Police. No arrests were made.”
Posted by Women Against Shariah on Saturday, October 29, 2016