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The students of Cardiff University express their deep resentment and disappointment at the invitation of Mark Regev, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom, to speak at the university.

The student population of Cardiff University has the right to know who Regev really is, and the nature of the Israeli war crimes and violations of international law he both stands and covers for.

In his former role as Chief Spokesman for the Prime Minister of Israel, Regev played an integral role as the face of the Israeli hasbara (propaganda) juggernaut, as he regularly appeared on television to whitewash and distort the brutal nature of the Israeli military assaults and apartheid regime in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

When Israel devastated Gaza during military operations in 2008-2009 and 2014, killing thousands of Palestinian civilians, Regev lied to television viewers that the Israeli war crimes unfolding before their eyes were not unfolding, that the Israeli air strikes targeting Palestinian civilians were not targeting civilians, and that the Israeli blockade strangling the economy of Gaza was not strangling it.

His repeated falsehoods are belied by thousands of pages of human rights reports and eye-witness testimonies. Their corroborating findings have maintained that Israel’s military assaults on Gaza are intended to “punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population” (UN Fact Finding Mission, 2009), that the “brutal” and “illegal” Israeli blockade constitutes “collective punishment” of a civilian population (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch), and that the result has been the destruction of a “whole civilization” (UN High Commissioner Mary Robinson) and the “breakdown of an entire society” (Harvard Professor Sara Roy). The United Nations estimates that as a result of Israel’s depredations, Gaza will be “unliveable by 2020”.

Moreover, while Regev now tours UK university campuses trumpeting the wonders of Israeli “democracy”, millions of Palestinians in the occupied territories are denied basic human and civil rights, and suffer under an apartheid regime. Millions more are denied their internationally recognized right to return to the homes from which they were ethnically cleansed by the Israeli military in 1948.

Regev is fundamentally an apologist for decades of Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Palestinian people. Far from being welcomed to the University of Cardiff University, his presence on campus deserves only revulsion and condemnation.

We therefore believe that providing a platform to a representative of an oppressive state such as Israel is akin to providing a platform for representatives of any other terrorist organisations. In this regard, the University should ask itself whether it is adhering to the same standards it holds its students to, if they wish to invite guests to speak on campus.

As an institution with a very good reputation, Cardiff University should be setting a precedent for moral and ethical standards and the condemnation of injustice, oppression and brutality against innocent people.

In respect to the above, we demand Cardiff University cancel their event with Mark Regev.

In addition, as the body that is meant to reflect the student voice, we demand the Cardiff University Students’ Union to condemn the University’s hosting of Mark Regev.

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