At CAMERA’s Annual Gala in New York, some six hundred CAMERA supporters came out to honor the students on the front lines of Israel activism today. The David Bar-Illan Award for Outstanding Campus Activism was presented to CAMERA-supported group Kings College London Israel Society.
KCL Israel Society was thrust into the headlines due to the events of October 2016. They were hosting a CAMERA-sponsored event with Hen Mazzig, a former IDF Commander who coordinated aid for Palestinians in the West Bank. The event was violently attacked by over one hundred anti-Israel protesters. Protesters banged on windows, blocked students from entering the room, and broke into the room through the windows into the lecture itself. Despite the aggressive protesters, the talk continued on, but students required police escort in order to safely exit the building.
The event was truly terrifying for those involved. But Hadar Langerman, President of KCL Israel Society, used her acceptance speech to focus on the determination that the event gave her. “I was not going to let these protesters strip me of my freedom of speech, or of my right to portray Israel in an accurate light.” The event also helped her highlight the values she was standing up for: “We (the pro-Israel students) were united, standing up for truth, freedom and democracy.”
The chaos at Hen’s event lead to Members of Parliament issuing statements, as well as an internal investigation by the University. At the dinner, the leaders of KCL Israel Society were honored for reacting in their way, which was the best way possible; by becoming more motivated and determined, to continue making Israel’s case with pride and confidence.
Contributed by CAMERA intern Aron White