Daily Israel Report

Nationalists Jeered but Zouabi Spoke at Haifa U After All

A loud Zionist protest greeted Zouabi after university canceled a planned political event but then allowed her to speak at a lecture hall.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/16/2010, 11:22 AM

Nationalist Jewish protesters waving the blue-and-white flag jeered Arab Knesset Member Hanin Zouabi (Balad) when she came to give a speech at the university Monday. Nationalist activists said that the university had given in to Zouabi and to the radical Balad party that was founded by Azmi Bishara, now a fugitive suspected of espionage.

 
The university initially said it would not allow Zouabi to meet with Balad activists as part of a planned political session, because it had received information that the event could end in bloodshed. However, it wound up allowing her to deliver a speech “on democracy” at a lecture hall.

Kobi Tal, a student at Haifa U, was on hand along with a large number of students to protest against Zouabi's presence. He told Arutz Sheva: “MK Zouabi supposedly came to speak about democracy at Haifa University. However, what effectively happened was that police and security men took over a structure in the university and prevented the entry of whoever was not associated with Balad and the political cell that is run by Arab students in the university.”

"This is discrimination and a negation of the democratic rights of the Jewish majority in the university,” Tal said. “The lecture was never meant for the Jewish population and the police were not providing security for the lecture – rather, they took over a structure and gave Zouabi the stage. We, the students, were angry over the discrimination and tried to disrupt the lecture with trumpets. Afterward members of the Arab cell came out waving their hands and making V-signs at the demonstrators and thus raised the flames of the protest.”