Erica Santiago / News Director
Students shouted “Hey hey! Ho ho! Occupation’s got to go!” outside the Rafael Diaz-Ballart Law Building after a lecture held by UN Ambassador to Israel and FIU alumnus, Danny Danon.
During the lecture, which took place Feb. 26 from 2 p.m. to 3p.m., Danon spoke to an audience about Israel, the UN and relations with Palestine.
It was after Danon’s comments regarding Gaza and Israel, that some students walked out of the lecture room. Later, those same students were protesting to the side of the building.
“We allow trucks to go inside Gaza every day, more than 1000 trucks a day. We allow cement and wood to go inside Gaza,” Danon said. “Unfortunately, the Hamas are using the cement and the wood that is being provided to Gaza, in order to build attack tunnels.”
Despite previous plans to speak with Student Media, Danon declined an interview following the lecture.
“Honestly I could have walked out 20 or 25 times because of the stuff he was saying.” said Rayid Sakib, president of the Students for Justice for Palestine and a senior majoring in biomedical engineering.
Sakib,who organized the walkout before hand, says he was wary of Danon’s visit because of the ambassador’s stance on the Two-State Solution, which would name Palestine as an independent state alongside Israel.
“He’s against the Two-State solution, which is the only viable solution and most popular solution in Palestine as of now,” said Sakib.
After the walkout, Danon said during his lecture, “On one hand, we do want to see the reconstruction of Gaza and we do want the support of the UN and other countries, but at the same time we cannot allow the Hamas to continue to build attack tunnels that will attack Israelis eventually.”
The lecture ended with a Q&A, where one audience member asked Danon what advice he would give students on campus who advocate for Israel.
“My advice is to be active, to stand up,” said Danon. “Small movements make a lot of noise. Promote legislation that says ‘we cannot boycott Israel.’”
[Image from Flickr]