WATCH: UC Berkeley Jewish Students Forced To Evacuate After Mob Storms Event With IDF Soldier

'Berkeley is on the wrong side of history and it's not a safe place for Jews anymore'
(Photo credit: Geri Lavrov via Getty Images)

Jewish students at University of California-Berkeley were forced to evacuate to a secret location after hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters stormed an event featuring an Israeli Defense Forces reservist on Monday night. 

The “Israel at War: Combat the Lies” event was supposed to feature Ran Bar-Yoshafat, who served for several weeks within Gaza in an IDF special forces unit. Before the event was able to begin, the mob of protesters stormed the building, forcing the attendees of the event to sneak out the back to a secret location.

“I don’t think this about the IDF, Jews or even Israel, this is them lacking Western values like freedom of speech,” Bar-Yoshafat told The Daily Wire. “For them I am guilty until proven innocent.”

Bar-Yoshafat said he was asked to arrive on campus in a hat to help mask his identity, and was reassured there was enough security to prevent protesters from shutting down the event. He added that the event had been moved several times leading up to Monday because of security concerns.

When he arrived at the room to begin the event, he said about 40 student protesters — many of which were masked with keffiyehs — entered with hundreds more outside the building.

Videos provided to The Daily Wire show students banging on doors and windows, breaking glass, chanting “intifada, intifada” and accusing Bar-Yoshafat of genocide in chants. Witnesses told The Daily Wire that they believe around 200 to 500 students were part of the protest. 

In one of the videos, a Jewish student says he was spat on by someone shouting, “You Jew.” 

“I just felt really bad for these kids because they were scared,” Bar-Yoshafat said. “Girls were crying from being attacked and I think the kid that was spat on was just so shocked. I don’t think the students anticipated so many people being violent, they thought they would just chant outside.”

Bar-Yoshafat, who was invited by various Jewish student groups, said he wanted to go on speaking despite the disrupters but he was asked to leave by school officials. 

“Instead of giving more security to us, they gave a prize to those who were violent,” he said. “They basically said those banging on doors and spitting on Jews are allowed to continue but I had to leave even though I was just peacefully speaking.”

Bar-Yoshafat and the students were escorted away with many protesters following him. Once they made it off campus, they quickly scrambled to find a new secret location to continue the event.

“Berkeley is on the wrong side of history and it’s not a safe place for Jews anymore,” he added.

Berkely’s anti-Israel student group, “Bears for Palestine,” announced its plan to shut down the event on their Instagram on Sunday.

“Shut it down: Genocidal murderers out of Berkeley,” the graphic read, along with a photo of Bar-Yoshafat with photoshopped red eyes. 

“In October of 2023, Ran Bar-Yoshafat was serving in the IOF partaking in the obliteration of Gaza and extermination of Palestinians,” the caption read, referring to the IDF as the Israeli Occupation Forces. “This individual is dangerous.”

“Ran Bar-Yoshafat has Palestinian blood on his hands,” it continued. “He has committed crimes against humanity, is a genocide denier, and we will not allow for this event to go on.”

Videos show the students chanting “Yoshafat you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.”

Ran Bar-Yoshafat

Ran Bar-Yoshafat left duty at the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war to get married before returning to combat. (Photo: Courtesy)

Bar-Yoshafat went to fight in southern Israel on October 7th when Hamas massacred Israeli civilians and served several weeks in Gaza. On the fourth day of the war, he took a short break to get married before returning to duty.

“On October 7, while terrorists were still massacring civilians, including my friends, I was already on my way to base to help protect Jews,” he said. “The people who were committing a genocide — and openly live streaming it — is Hamas. I was preventing terrorists from chopping off heads and burning people alive and raping women.”

“What they are really protesting is that Hamas is losing,” he added.

UC Berkeley did not respond to a request for comment. 

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