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Of two acts of protest against Israel

Anti-Israeli protesters disrupted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on Sep 2nd.

And this week, the trial beganof ten students in the United States, who shouted down the Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren during a lecture at Univ of California Irvine in February 2010.

The protesters in London began shouting and heckling the orchestra as the conducter, Zubin Mehta stood up to commence Bruch's violin concerto.

Protesters, belonging to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, had called for a boycott of the concert.

In a statement released ahead of the Proms, the group argued Israeli orchestra's participation at the BBC's Proms showed "complicity in whitewashing Israel's persistent violations of international law and human rights."

The event which was being broadcast live on BBC 3 was taken off air due to the continued disruptions. The protesters were removed by security.

Meanwhile, last week in California ten university students - all Muslims - were charged with conspiring to disturb a meeting and disturbing Ambassador Oren's lecture. The charges carry a potential sentence of upto one year in jail.

Drawing attention to other similar college protests that did not resulted in criminal charges, the students argue they have been unfairly targeted due to their religious faith.

A spokesperson for the students, Kifah Shah, stated, "this is selective punishment".

"At this point, it is not just about these 10 students anymore. It is about every single one of us and about whether our right to freedom of speech is going to be upheld," she added.  

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