Pro-Palestinian activists break university rector’s nose at BDS protest

Unnamed rector was punched in the face after attempting to shield her daughter from the violence.

By World Israel News Staff

Pro-Palestinian activists fractured a university rector’s nose last week when she attempted to maintain order during a lecture on Israeli technology in Brazil, with BDS activists violently attacking her and security guards.

The hostility from BDS groups began when Andreas Lajst, director of the pro-Israel advocacy group Stand With Us’ local Brazilian chapter, was scheduled to speak at the Federal University of Amazonas in Manaus.

Before the event, the Arab-Palestinian Federation of Brazil riled local anti-Israel activists on social media, condemning the university for allowing Lajst to speak.

“The university cannot be a stage to defend an apartheid regime,” the group wrote, expressing their opposition to Lasjt’s lecture about how Israeli technology could be leveraged to help isolated communities in the Amazon.

After the university declined to cancel the event, pro-Palestinian activists picketed Lasjt’s speaking engagement last Thursday. According to local Brazilian media reports, protesters gathered outside of the auditorium where Lasjt was lecturing, referring to him as a “defender of Israel’s apartheid regime” because he served in the Israeli air force more than a decade ago.

As protesters grew more aggressive, an unnamed university rector, accompanied by security guards, attempted to stop the demonstrators from disrupting the lecture.

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The activists then became increasingly violent, physically clashing with the security guards. When the rector attempted to shield her daughter from the fighting, BDS activists struck her, breaking her nose, Brazilian media reported.

Lasjt, who is the grandson of Holocaust survivors, noted that the university’s student union had referred to him as a “Nazi” in a post on their website, which encouraged protests against his speech.

“There is no worse offense for me,” he said to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Following the incident, the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, an umbrella group representing Jewry in the country, said in a statement that they “condemn the violence and lament the lack of democratic spirit and civil behavior.”

The group added that “universities must be a place for freedom of expression and pluralism of ideas, and not violence and intolerance.”