A planned walkout at a University of Texas at Austin event earlier this month erupted into a violent confrontation with the college’s professor of Israel Studies and another audience member. Now Palestinian activists say they feel unsafe on campus after the professor accused them of having ties to terrorism.
The incident began at a Nov. 13 public lecture on the military culture of the Israeli Defense Forces. Twelve members of UT Austin’s Palestine Solidarity Committee planned to stage a short disruption to voice their objections to Israel’s occupation of Palestine and apartheid policies, then leave the event. Instead, as the students unfurled a banner and the group’s organizer, Mohammed Nabulsi, began to read a brief statement, the event dissolved into chaos and even physical violence.
Nabulsi told MintPress News that he no longer feels safe on campus. “I’m not going to let this prevent me from continuing with my political work, but for now I’m really exhausted. I don’t want some vigilante to take the word of a professor,” he explained, adding: “People are calling us a ‘sleeper cell’ [of terrorists] now,” referring to some of the threatening comments they’ve received.