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      Haifa U Bans Arab MK Zouabi

      Haifa University has taken the unusual step - for it - of banning an Arab political event, because MK Hanin Zouabi was scheduled to participate.
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 11/15/2010, 11:19 AM / Last Update: 11/15/2010, 11:14 AM

      Flash 90 / IDF

      Haifa University, known for its left-wing lecturers and disproportionately large Arab student presence, has taken the unusual step of banning a political event sponsored by the Arab “Balad” party. The reason: MK Hanin Zouabi was scheduled to participate.

      The event was to have taken place today, Monday.

      The Dean of Students, Prof. Yoav Lavie, explained that he did not approve the event because of the participation of MK Zouabi aboard the Mavi Marmara ship amidst the Turkish-sponsored flotilla several months ago. Films of the event released afterwards showed that Zouabi was on the scene as terrorists on the ship were making plans to attack Israeli soldiers; nine members of the attacking force were killed in the ensuing battle.

      Dean Lavie also said that he found that “the student cells were planning to take advantage of the event to carry out violence that could lead to bloodshed.”

      MK Zouabi, who has gained a reputation in her first Knesset term as being strongly anti-Israel, fired off a letter to Dean Lavie in response, demanding that he change his decision “which strikes at my right and that of the [Arab] students to freedom of expression.” She also mentioned that her parliamentary immunity – parts of which were removed by the Knesset following the Mavi Marmara incidents – allows her to take part and speak at any and all events.