In the days and weeks leading up to the event, anti-Israel activists of all stripes railed against efforts to have the event cancelled, hailing the talk as a vivid example of free expression. Ali Abunimah
, editor of the hate site Electronic Intifada
his readers to sign on to a petition expressing "support for free speech" and denouncing "Zionist bullying." Alex Kane
, a writer for anti-Israel site Mondoweiss
, later gushed
about Barghouti and Butler's talk, calling it "a fantastic event and a real big victory for free speech." Participants in the event reported
a heavy police presence, meant to ensure that the event could proceed without a hitch. And so it did (if you disregard multiple accounts
of pro-Israel students being ejected from the event -- which is a subject for another time).