At Hebrew University Protest Attended by Knesset Member, Arab Students Call for Expulsion of ‘Zionists’
Arab students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem called for the expulsion of “Zionists” from Israel in a protest attended by a Knesset member on Tuesday.
“Palestine is Arab from the river to the sea; Zionists leave, our land is Arab and free,” the students chanted in Arabic, according to a video recording and translation released by the right-wing Zionist group Im Tirtzu.
The students — who are affiliated with the Joint List coalition in the Israeli parliament — called Israel a “terrorist” state and described “death” as “better than humiliation.”
The rally was attended by Yousef Jabareen, a member of Knesset from the Joint List. “Keep on fighting for coexistence. We should be proud of our struggle,” Jabareen urged protesters, according to a Jerusalem Post reporter who shared footage of the protest.
Students affiliated with Im Tirtzu responded to the chants by singing Israel’s national anthem and waving Israeli flags.
The protest came on the heels of altercations between Jewish and Arab students at the Mount Scopus campus on Monday, after Im Tirtzu students set up a memorial to 19-year-old IDF Sgt. Ron Yitzhak Kokia, who was stabbed to death in the southern city of Arad last week. Arab students responded to the display by erecting a stand draped in a Palestinian flag. A scuffle broke out between the groups, which was dispersed by campus security.
“The increasing violence of the students associated with the Joint List is unsurprising,” Matan Peleg, chairman of Im Tirtzu, said in response to Monday’s incident. “When the Hebrew University permits calls on campus to destroy the State of Israel in the name of free speech, it paves the way for more serious acts.”
Peleg blamed the “escalation of violence” on the president of Hebrew University, which responded to the incident by affirming its commitment to the free expression of different “beliefs and opinions, so long as they are not against the law.”
The university called on campus clubs to “refrain from any sort of violence, verbal or physical.”
Last month, Arab demonstrators at the Hebrew University also called for the expulsion of “Zionists” from the country, chanting, “Palestine is Arab, and the Golan is Syrian.”