More than a dozen pro-Palestinian protesters at San Francisco State University interrupted a speech by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat Wednesday, shouting “long live the Intifada!” and the “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”
Holding Palestinian flags while some wore keffiyeh headscarves, the protesters called for Barkat to be kicked off the campus.
However, even as they tried to drown out his words, Barkat descended from the podium and sat in the audience where he answered questions.
The municipality said that police were called in to protect Barkat, but he insisted on remaining in the hall to answer questions.
Barkat wrote on Twitter Thursday that “we will not allow voices of hate [to] silence us.”
— Mayor Nir Barkat (@NirBarkat) April 7, 2016
“Whoever thinks that calls to violence and wild incitement will succeed in silencing us or deflecting us from our positions is seriously mistaken,” Barkat said in a statement Thursday.
“We will continue to build, to develop and strengthen the State of Israel and within it a united Jerusalem and we will continue to make our positions and the rightness of our path heard wherever we are invited, including in those places where people will try to stop us,” he said.
Barkat said that he protested the “shameful conduct” to the university president and to the mayor of San Francisco.
“They must not allow dangerous incitement like this in a democratic country in general and on campuses in particular,” Barkat said.
Israel has been facing a seven-month wave of stabbing, car-ramming and other attacks widely described by Palestinians as a new “Intifada” or uprising, for which the U.S. students chanted their support.
Last year, Barkat along with his bodyguard tackled and stopped a knife-wielding Palestinian assailant who had just attacked an Israeli man outside the Jerusalem Municipality building.