Students in Chicago prepared a rude welcome for former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Thursday, dubbing him a “war criminal” and chanting other insults as he visited a local university.
“My university should be ashamed for inviting a murderer,” one student at University of Chicago yelled at Olmert as he arrived at the school to deliver a speech. The loud protest continued throughout the former PM’s address.
According to posters of a YouTube video, the protest was the work of members of various pro-Palestinian groups active at the university. The demonstration started outside the lecture hall, where dozens of people wearing traditional Arab headdress and carrying Palestinian flags chanted anti-israel slogans.
However, the confrontation escalated inside the venue, with one female student yelling “you’re a war criminal” at Olmert. Another woman said Olmert was “fascist,” after he mentioned Israel’s democratic regime.
At one point, the school’s dean intervened and reminded those in attendance that the point of the discussion was to allow Olmert to answer student questions. In response, a woman in the audience yelled out that the former PM can make his views heard at the International Court of Justice.
Olmert himself appeared relaxed throughout the ordeal. After one student asked “how many people need to die?” the former PM said this was precisely the question asked by many Israelis for eight years.
The former PM called for world countries to unite against terror and extremism, prompting one of the female audience members to call out: “You should be ashamed”.
Two security officers escorted the woman out of the hall as she continued to shout at Olmert.
Later in his lecture, after Olmert spoke about civilians killed in the Gaza Strip, another audience member yelled: “Their lives were stolen from them.
Meanwhile, another woman waved the list of Gaza War casualties, claiming it included 1,400 names and was 101 pages long. Many applauded as security officers escorted her out of the hall.
The editors of the video claimed that security officers threatened to arrest the person who was filming the events, and he was forced to stop shooting.
According to the video, even after the cameraman left, students continued to talk about Olmert’s war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza, concluding with a sarcastic remark about the pro-Israel activists who were protesting outside the hall, saying there were only four of them present.