A Palestinian human rights activist said Thursday that he was “terrified” by the hostile reception and physical threats he received while lecturing at the University of Chicago.
Bassem Eid, founder of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, expressed this sentiment on Facebook, after his speech, critical of the Palestinian Authority, was interrupted by angry protesters, questioning why he was talking about human rights abuses in the PA, while letting Israel off the hook for the “occupation.” One individual in the audience — a former student at Chicago’s Columbia College who said he was from Gaza — even threatened him physically.
The young man is heard in a video of the event yelling in Arabic, “I’m going to destroy this place!” Later, he was heard saying, “I’m going to kill this motherf*****!” and “Wait until you go to your car!” He also said, “we” are going to be at Eid’s lecture at DePaul University in Chicago on Saturday evening, so he should be “ready for” us.
The police can be seen toward the end of the video attempting to calm the situation.
Eid’s Facebook post read:
Ok and here we are. I was terrified from what’s happened at [University of Chicago], a Palestinian who claimed that he is from Gaza threatened me, he start shouting in wonderful hall of the International House, and I was escaped from the place by the police. Horrible unbelievable how the Arabs who are supporting the BDS causing damage to the Palestinian’s reputation. But any how I succeeded to deliver my message for half an hour without any interruption. Welcome to paradise Chicago University.
Two days later, on Saturday night, Eid posted another statement on Facebook saying that his lecture at DePaul had gone “smoothly,” although “some Arab students kicked themselves out by themselves during the lecture.”
In 2016, Mr. Eid assumed the role of chairman of the Center for Near East Policy Research, a think-tank exploring the core issues of the Israeli-Arab conflict.
Watch the video of the event at the University of Chicago here: