A group of nationalist activists led by MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union), Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben Gvir arrived on Wednesday at the Tel Aviv University, where they distributed leaflets urging the inhabitants of the university to vacate the land.
The leaflets informed students that the land on which the university was built is undisputedly the site of an Arab village called Sheikh Munis, whose residents were deported against their will by Israel in 1948.
The activists called on the students and professors not to set foot in the university since it is ‘occupied territory,’ and asked them to demonstrate to show solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Munis.
The nationalists’ visit comes in the wake of the demolition threats in the Binyamin communities of Migron, Givat Assaf and the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El. The Supreme Court ordered the demolitions following claims by Arabs that the lands on which these communities were built is Arab-owned land (though the Arabs who filed the Migron lawsuit, encouraged by left wing NGO's, have withdrawn it after being required to present proof of ownership in a lower court. The Supreme Court does not hear evidence and its ruling preceded a lower court's decision on the ownership of the land).
The activists who visited the university do not actually believe in the concept of occupied territory but were trying to prove a point. MK Ben-Ari explained that the point is to show the hypocrisy and double standards of leftists, who preach every day about the so-called “occupation” in Judea and Samaria, when they themselves sit on land that was taken from Arabs.
“It’s time to stop the hypocrisy and confusion,” said Ben-Ari. “Baruch Marzel, who sits on pure Jewish land, is not the occupier. The left needs to understand and comprehend that the entire land is ours. Anyone who rolls his eyes and says that Judea and Samaria are occupied territory should listen to [Palestinian Authority Chairman] Abbas when he speaks about 63 years of occupation, and should remember that the PLO was established in 1964, years before we liberated Judea and Samaria.”
The activists’ presence at the university prompted dialogue between them and many of the students, some of whom sympathized with what they were saying and some of whom reacted angrily, saying their actions were a provocation.
On Tuesday, attorneys for the government filed a motion asking the High Court to extend the deadline for them to file their position on the destruction of the neighborhoods and communities, as demanded by the court.
The petition, filed on behalf of Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the IDF commander in Yesha, said “the respondents need two more days in order to formulate their position.”
Barak’s request for more time comes amid reportedly heated discussions between the Prime Minister’s office, Defense Minister's bureau, and the office of the Attorney General. The coalition, too, is up in arms about the proposed destruction of Jewish homes.