Meretz Knesset Member Zahava Gal-On forced Haifa University to cancel a joint appearance with National Union Knesset Member Dr. Michael Ben-Ari because she refused to sit down with him on the same panel.
“I am not prepared participate in any panel with Ben-Ari because he is a fascist, a racist and a Kahanist [followed of the late Rabi Meir Kahane] and is not legitimate,” said Gal-On.
The two MKs and other public figures were invited to speak at a discussion on “Religious Faith and the Israeli-Arab Struggle” at Haifa University. MK Ben-Ari said his letter of invitation from Prof. Yitzchak Wiseman stated, “I invite you to participate in the conference and take advantage of the podium because we are interested that all seams of thought present their views."
Despite the declaration of openness to different ideas, MK Ben-Ari received another letter that stated his participation was cancelled.
“It is clear that the left exploits Haifa University, which surrenders to Gal-On’s dictates. This is McCarthyism,” he said, referring to the United States in the 1950s, when Sen. Joe McCarthy tried to rid the government of suspected Communists.
“The McCarthy leftists are working overtime,” MK Ben-Ari added. “Her boycott [of me] is ridiculous. However, I sleep well at night without sitting down with her at the same forum.
“I have news for her. I am not less legitimate and perhaps even more legitimate than she is and than are her positions. I am happy she has unmasked her true face,” he declared after the cancellation.
MK Gal-On said, I have positions based on principles.” She said that when she understood that Mk Ben-Ari was to speak at the same panel, she explained her position. “I then understood that he was to appear on a different panel instead, and I did not know that his participation was cancelled altogether. But it does not make any difference,” she added.