Peres spars with hecklers at Oxford

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli President Shimon Peres was repeatedly heckled as a "war criminal" during an address at Oxford University on Tuesday.

As he spoke about Zionism, peace and the election of Barack Obama, a handful of students in the audience of 1,000 frequently interrupted to demand that Peres bow down in shame for the genocide, ethnic cleansing and other persecution they claimed Israel has visited on the Palestinian Arabs for the past 60 years.

Most of the interruptions were halted by the other students in the audience, who booed down the hecklers.

On one occasion, Peres himself replied, telling a protestor that Israel did not need his permission to defend itself. When another student alleged that Israel is purposely starving the residents of Gaza, Peres suggested that he "open your eyes and ears and keep your mouth shut for a different perspective."

Peres visited Oxford as part of a three-day state visit to the United Kingdom.

Peres is also scheduled to address both Houses of Parliament in London, and visit Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth II will bestow upon him an honorary knighthood.

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