A Republican organization was forced to reschedule their general meeting where an Israeli diplomat was to speak Tuesday following threats from pro-Palestinian protesters.

The Houston Young Republicans planned to host Israel Consul General Livia Link-Raviv at their general meeting before two venues cancelled after threats and protests from pro-Palestinian protesters, the Texan reported. The group’s communications director, Sam Somogye, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the group chose to reschedule the meeting out of concern for the safety of their guests and attendees.

“We originally were doing it at Christian’s Tailgate, where we do most of our events, and then they started to get calls, messages on their social media, you name it, saying they were going to boycott, they were going to show up and protest, so that venue kind of got cold feet and said they didn’t want to host it anymore, which we completely respect, which is their right as a private business,” Somogye said.

 

Somogye said the Young Republicans reached out to a second location, Preslee’s, which agreed to host the meeting.

“We sent out an internal email to our list, announcing that the meeting location had been moved,” Somogye told the DCNF. “About 20 minutes after we sent that email, I got a call from Preslee’s and they said they we’re getting, you know once again, but this time at Preslee’s, inundated with phone calls, people are saying they’re gonna boycott, they’re gonna show up and protest and they told me that… somebody called and threatened to burn the building down.”

“So at that point, that’s when, as an organization, we decided it was best just to kind of pump the brakes,” Somogye continued. “Because like we said in our statement, the safety and well-being of our members and guests… is always going to be the top priority.”

Demonstrations since the Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas against multiple locations in southern Israel featured protesters making statements like “resistance is justified,” while attendees of other protests chanted a slogan that has connotations of wiping out Israel.

Harvard President Claudine Gay announced her resignation as president of Harvard University following multiple allegations of plagiarism and fallout from her testimony about antisemitism at the university. Gay refused to say whether students and applicants would be held accountable for using phrases like “from the river to the sea” during a Dec. 5 hearing of the House Education and Workforce Committee when questioned by Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York.

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill resigned under pressure after the school lost a $100 million donation following her testimony.

“It’s important to note that as an organization, we’re not going to be bullied into cancelling an event, and we stand by our principles,” Somogye told the DCNF. “And it’s kind of ironic how this all plays out, because this event we do now is going to be bigger than what it would have been tonight and it’s going to have a lot more of a showing and support. So, it’s just… it’s ironic, because what they wanted to accomplish isn’t going to happen, the exact opposite is going to as a result of what they’ve done.”

“I will not be silenced. Intimidation and threats are never the way. The bullies will not win,” Link-Raviv posted on X. “Looking forward to conducting a productive dialogue with @HoustonYR VERY SOON.”

 

Christian’s Tailgate, Preslee’s and the Israeli consulate in Houston, where Link-Raviv is based out of, did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the DCNF.

Harold Hutchison on March 19, 2024

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