At an “Israel Apartheid Week” event at City University of New York, after watching a propaganda film, 19-year old Binyamin Rister rose and politely asked the ISM presenters if they supported terrorism. When he received no reply he politely repeated the question. Rather than wait for an answer, CUNY security guards dragged Rister from the room and then repeatedly banged his head against the wall of an elevator and threw him head first down the stairs. Rister’s injuries from the assault by campus security required him to be evacuated by ambulance in a neck brace to the hospital.
In an almost identical case at Georgetown last year, Bill Maniaci a 67-year-old retired Jewish American police officer was brutalized by Georgetown security guards after he asked ISM spokesmen if they supported terrorism [you can see an eyewitness report here]. He is currently suing Georgetown for $8 million in damages for the assault. According to Lee Kaplan’s report of the CUNY event in Frontpage Magazine, there were seven witnesses to the unprovoked attack against Rister. He too has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against CUNY.
According to Front Page Magazine, these alleged violent attacks are taking place at ISM sponsored gatherings. Clearly, the organizers have come to expect that people with different political views will attend and have made a decision not to respond to their direct queries. As for the violence, I am going guess that they speak beforehand to security and perhaps the information they provide might cause the officers in question to behave with intensity and violence that one would normally reserve for violent individuals.
I’m not sure what can be done about these attacks since they are being committed by security officers and any response to their actions would simply justify their violence. I also don’t believe that avoiding these talks is a solution. This is America and as long as people are polite at these events, they should be treated like any other attendee. I guess from now on any supporter of Israel who is aware of an anti-Israel activity on campus should be sure to inform the university’s administration of their intent to attend the event and include clips from these news stories along with the information that this individual intends to ask questions at the event. This may cause these very same administrators who currently appear to stand behind their officers’ violence, to provide a different set of instructions that would prevent rather than cause physical harm.
Oh, make sure to act peacefully and politely at these events. And bring friends, because you might need assistance getting up and getting to the hospital, and it’s important to have witnesses so there’s a record.