Ami Pedahzur, a professor in the department of Government and the head of the Institute of Israel Studies at the University of Texas, got into a trouble when a group of pro-Palestinian activists tried to disrupt his seminar hosting Dr. Gil-Li Vardi. The activists marched in the classroom describing it as an “intervention.”
Pedahzur seems to be genuinely puzzled that his Institute should be targeted and, more to the point, that in spite of his efforts, the group was unwilling to engage in a dialogue, as befits an academic setting. He described the encounter in a Facebook post (see below). Upon further investigation, Pedahzur learned that the activists were professional provocateurs. As we recently reported, disrupting Israeli professors or lectures with Israeli themes have become a popular form of “protest” against the “Zionist enemy.” Acting for Pedahzur, Kenneth Marcus, the head of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law (LDB) wrote to the UT authorities: "The brazen efforts of the Palestine Solidarity Committee to silence Dr. Pedahzur and Dr. Vardi not only violate basic civility norms but, more troublingly, also represent a threat to academic freedom and the freedom of speech."
But, as the article in the Jewish Press notes, the pro-Palestinian group crafted their own complaint against Pedahzur. They accuse him of creating a physical altercation and demand his firing. In support of their claim, they posted a video of the entire encounter showing Pedahzur getting face to face with the leader of the “intervention.”
In response to the brouhaha, the university responded that it is “investigating” the case. IAM would provide updates.