Arab Lecturer to Reservist: No Entry in Uniform

Eyal Cohen, a reserve officer, had just finished a week's reserve duty. An Arab lecturer at Sapir College told him to stay out of his class.

Gil Ronen ,

Sapir College, main building
Sapir College, main building

An Arab lecturer at Sapir college in Sderot told an IDF soldier who had entered his class in uniform to leave. The student, Eyal Cohen, a lieutenant in the Intelligence Corps and a second year cinema student, had just finished a one-week stint of reserve duty and came directly from his base to the class. As he entered the class and was still in the doorway, the lecturer stopped speaking and said to him: "I do not teach soldiers, policemen and officers in uniform."

The incident occurred earlier this week.

Cohen refused to leave
Cohen tried to protest but the teacher refused to let him speak. "Come back without a uniform and I will let you speak for ten minutes," he said. Cohen kept his composure, sat down and refused to leave the class.

According to the report, the teacher kept on shooting verbal barbs at the officer throughout the lecture. "He teased and stung him, saying things like 'yes, commander,' and spoke of the IDF negatively as he looked at him," classmates said.

After the event, Cohen voiced disappointment with his classmates. "I thought the students should
"I thought the students should have gotten up and left in a situation like that. I was pretty surprised that nobody said a word or did anything."
have gotten up and left in a situation like that. I was pretty surprised that nobody said a word or did anything." He said.

Cohen reportedly wants to file a complaint against the lecturer but says he does not want him fired; he just wants the college "to make him aware of the norms of study in a place where many reserve soldiers study."

Sapir College said in response that the lecturer is not in Israel at the moment and that the matter will be looked into upon his return.

Sapir College has been hit by rocket fire from Gaza on several occasions. It is situated on the outskirts of shell-battered Sderot but most of its lecturers do not reside in the town.

Keffiyeh Day
Last Wednesday, Arab and leftist students staged what they called Keffiyeh Day (the keffiyeh is the traditional Arab headdress), with permission from the campuses' administraors. The event was supposedly held to protest "racsim against Arab students in Israel" and to mark the third anniversary of the death of arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat.

According to Erez Tadmor of the "Im Tirtzu" patriotic Jewish student movement, "several dozens of Arab students wearing keffiyehs chanted 'in blood and spirit we will redeem you, O' Palestine.' They were opposed by dozens of Israelis from Im Tirtzu and other groups, who protested that Israeli campuses were turning into hotbeds of Islamic radicalism."

The spark for the Keffiyeh Day event was a violent incident in Jerusalem a week earlier, in which an activist for Im Tirtzu was attacked by several dozen Arabs from the Ibna el Balad group, when he hung an Israeli flag next to Im Tirtzu's stand. Paradoxically, it was the Arab side that was granted permission to organize a protest day.