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Israeli ambassador given rough reception at Edinburgh University

Ron Prosor, Israeli Ambassador to the UK

Human rights groups have protested at the arrival of an Israeli ambassador due to make a speech at Edinburgh University.

Ron Prosor, Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, was met by a crowd of over 100 protesters, who had gathered outside the lecture venue on the city’s Teviot Place.

The demonstration was organised by the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) and featured representatives from various other human rights groups.  The SPSC felt that an Isreali Ambassador should not be given such a platform at the university, which they claimed gave Mr Prossor the opportunity to, “justify Israel’s crimes”.

The lecture, entitled ‘The Middle-East Today: Regional Challenges, Global Implications’, went ahead at the University’s McEwan Hall to an audience of Three Hundred and Fifty people.

Mr Prosor had been due to speak at the university earlier this year but the talk was cancelled.  Edinburgh University stated that the cancellation was due to logistical reasons, but the SPSC claimed it was due to pressure they had exerted.

Organiser Mick Napier described Mr Prosor as, “the ambassador of the apartheid state of Israel”, and said the protest emphasised the opposition held in the capital to the ongoing conflict in the Middle-East.

Mr Napier dismissed the talk as, “a shameful PR Israeli exercise”, saying it should not have taken place, “while Israeli bulldozers continue to destroy Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem”.

Mr Prosor was appointed Israel’s Ambassador to the UK in November 2007 and previously held the positions of Senior Deputy Director General of the Ministry and Chief of Policy Staff to the Foreign Minister.

Nobody from Edinburgh University was available for comment.

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