Haifa University has decided, under pressure, to prevent Sheikh Kamel Hatib of the Islamic Movement in Israel from speaking – but students say it might be too little, too late.
Hatib is the Israeli Arab deputy chairman of the very anti-Israel Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement. Plans for his visit were made by Arab students on campus, and Jews who learned of it feared it would include the drumming up of much anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement. Only after the student unions applied much pressure upon the university leadership was the visit called off.
Michal Minyan, spokesperson for the Lavi cell of Jewish students in Haifa University, told Arutz-7’s Benny Tucker on Wednesday, “The decision was the correct one, but it is very sad that it had to happen as a result of our strong pressure. How could they not have realized in advance that someone who is associated with such incitement, spreads hatred and objects to the existence of the State of Israel has no place on campus?”
Minyan noted that a previous visit by Islamic Movement head Sheikh Raad Salah, “who has been jailed for incitement, should have made them aware of what such an event means.”
In 1997, it was estimated that Israeli Arab students made up 25% of the student body in Haifa U – up from 10% in 1980.
“Many Jewish students feel uncomfortable going outside,” Minyan said. “The Arab groups disseminate flyers in Arabic so that we will not understand – such as about the planned visit by Hatib… On Women’s Day, they gave out flowers only to Arab women… I would feel more comfortable if there were security personnel and Shabak (ISA) agents walking around, because there is definitely much underground Arab activity.”
Red Line Has Been Crossed
“I believe that there is certainly room for political discourse on campus,” Minyan said in response to a question, “but it must be within certain limits. If it gets to the point where Jews feel uncomfortable walking around an Israeli university, then the red line has been crossed.”
“When prospective students come here to take their pre-university psychometric exams," Minyan lamented, "the Arab student cells increase their activity purposely so that the Jewish students will not want to enroll here. But I call on them not to fear, and to enroll here – because if they do not, the Arabs will end up being the majority here, as they wish to become.”