A mini-scandal took place at Haifa University this week when Kamal Khatib, deputy chairman of the Islamic movement in Northern Israel, arrived on campus. In the past Khatib has referred to Jews as “fleas,” has expressed his opposition to the existence of Israel and has advocated for the Arab ‘right of return.’
Khatib was at Haifa University to give a lecture to the campus’s Arab students and to bestow scholarships on some of its members.
One professor told Israeli daily Maariv that it was ” a disaster to allow” an individual such as Khatib, known for “incitement against the state, to appear before members of the Islamic movement on campus, and in the name of the movement to give them scholarships.”
Several professors and a contingent of students tried to express their concern over Khatib’s appearance directly to Haifa University President Amos Shapira, but to no avail. The group of students even tried to enter the hall where the event took place but were refused entry.
For its part the university issued this statement: “This event was closed and organized by the student cell. Entry to the event was determined by the cell organizer, and was by invitation only. Regarding the participation of Khatib – we certainly condemn expressions made by Kamal Khatib in the past. However, Israel is a state of law, and as we explained before the law – the University cannot prevent the entry of a person onto its territory. “