Heated debate between Israeli and Palestinian students at UT

A Pro-Palestinian student group at UT has filed a civil rights complaint with the University. They say their rights were violated last Friday during a public forum at the Institute of Israeli Studies. 

The incident was recorded on video, and posted by the group. In it, the group can be seen trying to make a statement, but participants in the forum are trying to stop them. At one point, a Palestinian flag is ripped from one of the member's hands.

"Our actions and what we've done before, and has been approved by the Dean of Students before is to make a one to two minute statement and immediately depart from the event and we've done it successfully before with no complaints and no problems," said one of the group's members Mohammed Nabulsi.

Nabulsi said after the incident, the professor hosting the forum  posted an open letter on an official UT website site. They allege he published the dozen or so activist's names and phone numbers and compared their actions to what happened in Paris. The group also claims that the professor called their movement a "campaign of terror and intimidation." The letter is no longer on the site, and that's why they say they published the video.

UT President Greg Fenves addressed the incident on Tuesday afternoon. He said he had not seen the video but that what happened is being reviewed by the Dean of Students. He also said UT Campus has reviewed the case, and that no criminal charges will be filed on either side.

"What is important to me," said Fenves, "is that the University is a place where free speech is a fundamental value, our education of our students, the scholarship of our faculty depends on free and unencumbered speech.

The Pro-Palestinian Group says they met with the Dean of Students after the incident and that she told them they were in their rights, though the University would not confirm it. They also say if the campus does not address their civil rights complaint, they will consider legal action.

FOX 7 reached out to the Professor who hosted the forum, but was referred to UT Public Affairs.
 

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