An Irish university is to conduct an investigation after a pro-Israel activist was the target of a tirade of abuse from students.
Professor Alan Johnson, senior research fellow for Israel advocacy group Bicom, was lecturing at the National University of Ireland in Galway (NUIG) when he was barracked by anti-Zionist protesters.
Footage posted on YouTube shows student Joseph Loughnane repeatedly screaming: “You f***ing Zionist, f***ing p****. Get the f*** out now. Get the f*** off our campus now”.
A female activist is also heard to say: “You are racist scum, and proud of it”.
Another voice, off-camera, shouts: “We don’t want your Israeli money here”.
The incident occurred the evening before students voted to impose a boycott of Israel — the first Irish student union to do so.
The motion — formally to back the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement — was passed by 1,954 votes to 1,059.
In a letter of complaint to university president James Browne, Prof Johnson said “intimidation” appeared to have become “normalised” on the campus.
“Some students expressed to me their desire to establish an Israel Society on campus but fear it is unsafe to do so. The students were so disturbed by the events that they were unsure they would have the courage to try again. What a sad state of affairs,” he wrote.
The Israeli embassy in Dublin said in a statement that it was “alarming that a body of students should seek to dissuade academic and cultural
It accused a minority of the student population of engaging in “bullying tactics” to silence those opposing the boycott.
The embassy said Mr Loughnane had acted in an “extremely intimidating and threatening manner, and displayed the characteristics of hate-speech, which is typical of anti-Israel activists in Ireland”.
Writing on Twitter after the incident, Mr Loughnane said: “After NUIG BDS victory, Zionists single me out (I’m half-Pakistani), call me a Nazi & ignore the racist abuse I received throughout the day”.
The university said: “The behaviour portrayed is unacceptable and has no place at any forum of discussion or debate. This matter will be investigated immediately.”