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Injuries Reported at Brazilian University Event Hosting Pro-Israel Speaker

Lajst told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he was called a “Nazi” on a university website.
Andre Lajst during a lecture in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on Dec. 4, 2017. (Courtesy of the Rio Grande do Sul Jewish Federation)
Andre Lajst during a lecture in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on Dec. 4, 2017. (Courtesy of the Rio Grande do Sul Jewish Federation)

A recent lecture at the Federal University of Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil, turned tumultuous as pro-Palestinian demonstrators clashed with security personnel and university staff.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that the lecture, featuring Andre Lajst, the director of StandWithUs Brazil, focused on the potential contributions of Israeli technologies to the development of the Amazon region.

Attendees of the event were reportedly met with a heated atmosphere as tensions escalated with anti-Israel demonstrators. Reports indicate that a university employee sustained injuries, including a broken nose, while attempting to protect her daughter amidst the commotion.

The report stated that several students were also subjected to harassment as they entered the lecture room. Local media said that one protester was arrested for allegedly pushing a police officer, while the guest speaker was escorted out of the building by law enforcement officals.

Lajst took to twitter to condemn the actions of the protestors, emphasizing that their behavior did not reflect the views of the university or its students. He further noted the heightened security measures that were in place due to the negative portrayal of him and Israel in the lead-up to the lecture.

Responding to the incident, the Brazilian Israelite Confederation issued a statement denouncing the violence and expressing disappointment in the lack of democratic discourse. The organization stressed that universities should foster an environment of free expression and diverse perspectives, rather than intolerance and physical altercations.

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