Protestors started gathering outside the center about an hour before his lecture, carrying signs "Judaism-Yes, Zionism-No" and "Bentzion Gruger, WAR CRIMES are not ethical."
The controversy arises from the fact that a community center such as the JCC-Austin would allow, and even co-sponsor, the lecture of a man who is directly involved in the violation of International Law and is responsible for directing 18,000 soldiers in human rights abuses in Occupied Palestine.
The Palestinian people suffer under apartheid conditions as inhabitants of Israel, a country where they make up almost half - 5 million - of the population.
Bentzion Gruger spoke to an audience of about 100 mostly middle aged people about how ethical the IOF is, claiming it is the most ethical military in the world today. The IOF has violated more International Laws than any other military.
Gruger dismissed the white phosphorous bombs used by the IOF in Operation Cast Lead as simple smoke bombs. The Goldstone Report has extensive documented evidence that the IOF used white phosphorous bombs against civilians, one of many war crimes the IOF refuses to stand trial for.
As the lecture attendees left the JCC Austin, they were met with more protestors and more signs such as "read the GOLDSTONE REPORT online" and "Stop Israeli Terrorism."
One protester stated "I believe that the Palestinians under occupation are the single most oppressed people in the world today, that's why I'm here tonight."
Protests across the country are increasing due to the fact that the apartheid in Israel-Palestine is increasingly seen as a human rights issue and not an issue of religion or nationalism.
Gruger is is touring the country lecturing until late March to include Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Santa Barbara; Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey; Miami, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa Bay, Houston, and Washington D.C.