Pro-Palestinian protesters crash US speech by Jerusalem mayor
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Pro-Palestinian protesters crash US speech by Jerusalem mayor

Demonstrators in San Francisco demand ‘liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea’ as Barkat addresses students

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat addressing students at San Francisco University on April 6, 2016, as pro-Palestinian demonstrators protest in the background. (Jerusalem Municipality)
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat addressing students at San Francisco University on April 6, 2016, as pro-Palestinian demonstrators protest in the background. (Jerusalem Municipality)

Dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters, calling for the liberation of Palestine “from the river to the sea,” disrupted a lecture being delivered by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat at San Francisco State University on Wednesday.

Carrying Palestinian flags, they called for the continuation of the current wave of violence and an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, labeling Israel a terrorist and apartheid state.

They demanded that Barkat be expelled from the campus.

The Jerusalem Municipality said the mayor continued his speech and even descended from the podium to answer questions from the audience while the demonstration went on.

“Whoever thinks that calls to violence and wild incitement will succeed in silencing us or deflecting us from our positions is seriously mistaken,” said Barkat, who is touring American campuses to talk about Jerusalem and to explain official Israeli positions.

Barkat recently registered as a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, and there has been ongoing speculation that he will challenge him for the premiership.

“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 in a statement Thursday. “I have protested about the shameful conduct to the president of the university and the mayor of San Francisco and have told them that they must not allow dangerous incitement like this in a democratic country in general and on campuses in particular.”

Barkat is due to appear Thursday at Columbia University in New York.

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