Israeli Ambassador at The Cambridge Union: Live

Eddie Millett 20 October 2014


20:00 That, to clarify, is a TOTAL LIVE MEDIA BLACKOUT. Never seen anything like this before in Cambridge. #whathappenedtodialogue ??? In this circumstance, I am forced to cancel the rest of the broadcast, and switch to the good old paper + pen journalism method that Hesham Mashour is doing his best to enact inside the Chamber. Never fear though, we have plenty of follow up to come on the website. 

19:57 I have just recieved some quite serious news. According to Katherine Reggler, one of the Union officials, there has been a late decision to cancel the livestream. That's no phones inside, and no beaming the talk outside.  

19:51 While we eagerly await kick off, I'll tell you a little more about the security situation in the Union. There are full barricades around all the entrances, manned by an unnerving mix of regular security bods and gruff Mossad types with thick Israeli accents. No phones or laptops inside. When entering to interview Taub earlier, I was relieved of my pen – 'might be a weapon', and told 'you can take your coat, but any attempt to remove it once inside will result in your ejection from the chamber'. That's thath, then. 

19:46 You, like me, may well be wondering why the debate is now over 45 minutes delayed and the Union's livefeed is not running. The audience inside the hermetically sealed chamber are phoneless, having had all methods of communication confiscated at entry – and so we on the outside are currently in a blackout. The Union's website has also pushed back its purported start time to 19:25 (which we have already passed). What is going on?

19:41 Crowds have been gathering outside the Union over the last few hours to protest against the invitation of the Israeli ambassador. Palestine Society say that his presence is 'a tacit endorsement' of Israeli actions this summer. 

19:36 Currently we are facing radio silence on the Union Live stream, which either means that the talk is still yet to start, or that there has been some sort of 11th hour ban on broadcasting? I should clarify that I am sat in the comfort of the Trinity Hall JCR watching matters unfold, but TCS news man Hesham Mashour is inside the chamber waiting for events to unfold. 

19:25 Welcome to our live coverage of the Israeli Ambassador's talk at the Cambridge Union. Things are currently running late, but stay tuned for updates!