A Jewish group demanded Sunday that Arab students who desecrated the sounding of the siren on Memorial Day be expelled from Tel Aviv University. The student group, named simply “Israelis," said that the Arabs played loud music and shouted anti-Israel and anti-Semitic epithets as students stood at attention, honoring the soldiers who fell in battle for the country.
The Arab students in question are residents of one of the University's dormitories, and continued their desecration throughout the sounding of the siren, despite protests from Jewish students. After the event, a heated argument continued on Facebook, with one Arab student saying that Israel should be “ashamed of itself, and keep its ceremonies quiet.”
These same students, the “Israelis” said, commemorated the “Nakba,” as Arab nationalists call the day in 1948 when the State of Israel was established. About 300 Arab and leftist students carried photos of Arabs who fled their homes in during the 1947-8 War of Independence. According to historians, the vast majority of Arabs left their homes and villages at the behest of Arab nations, including Egypt, Syria, and Transjordan, which promised that they would quickly return to distribute the booty taken from the Jews, who by that time would have been “thrown into the sea.”
Things didn't quite work out that way, and many of the Arabs who fled ended up in refugee camps in Arab countries, where they were not allowed to become citizens, build permanent homes, or in some cases even work.
One of the leftist protesters said she came to the event to enhance coexistence between Arabs and Jews. “In order for us to live together in harmony we must acknowledge the persecution experienced by the Arabs who were evicted from their homes in 1948. It is a tragedy that continues until today,” she said.
“We are regular students here and are not 'professional activists,' but we cannot allow these incidents to pass without protest,” activists with the group said. “These actions hurt us, and those behind this deserve to be punished.” The students are demanding that the University investigate the Arab students' actions, and either force them to stop or expel them from the school.