A group of students at the University of Haifa who are affiliated with the Yisrael Beytenu party on Wednesday protested the fact that the university allows activities which, they say, encourage terrorism.
As part of the protest, the students set up a stand and asked passersby to sign a petition calling the administration of the university to stop permitting these activities to take place on campus.
In the last few years, several such incidents were reported at the University of Haifa. These included Arab students holding a moment of silence in memory of the “martyrs” killed and injured in riots in the southern Bedouin city of Rahat.
In another incident, Arab students assembled on one of the lawns of the university and stood for a moment of silence in memory of Hamas terrorist Ahmed Jaabari, who was eliminated by Israel in 2012 in what marked the beginning of the counterterrorism Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza.
Arab student groups at the University of Haifa have also held a ceremony in honor of Nakba Day, which marks what Arabs view as the “catastrophe” of Israel’s establishment in 1948.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva on Wednesday, Gary Koren who heads the University of Haifa Yisrael Beytenu branch said, "We came to our university to protest the administration’s failed conduct by permitting activities which incite to terrorism. We protested the incompetence of the institution, which serves as a hotbed for terrorist supporters in many cases.”
In addition to the events honoring Jaabari and Nakba Day, Koren listed other occurrences which led to the decision to set up the protest stand.
“There was an evening dedicated to the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, who calls in his poems for the death of Jews and their expulsion from ‘Palestine’; there was a conference by ‘Breaking the Silence’ which was organized by the university without any organization with the opposing view being invited; there were demonstrations calling for the release of terrorists and others.”
Koren continued, "All these events and many others are part of the overall atmosphere at the university, where incitement to terrorism is disguised as freedom of expression - and we just saw its effects in the arson terrorism in the city."
He noted that a large number of students signed the petition demanding that the university stop permitting such activity.
Koren also noted that a number of Arab students came to the stand and “claimed that the only problem with a moment of silence in memory of Jaabari, in their opinion, is that I was not pronouncing the name Jaabari correctly.”
“We will not surrender to terrorism and we will continue to fight for justice and for the Zionist character of the State of Israel and the University of Haifa in particular," he stressed.