Students at Tel Aviv University (TAU) were horrified to discover that Tamer Nafar, a prominent Arab rapper considered to hold extremist views, has been invited to perform at an event to be held next week by the university's Hadash chapter, a student organization affiliated with the Arab Hadash political party.
In April of 2019, Nafar performed at an event in the United States during which he said, "I can't be anti-Semitic by myself, let's try together." Nafar, an Arab with Israeli citizenship, self-identifies as a Palestinian and has refused to condemn the BDS movement.
TAU student-activists belonging to Im Tirtzu have demanded that Nafar be prevented from entering the university campus. Orit Eliyahu, Im Tirtzu's coordinator at TAU, told Israel National News that, "Bringing such an extremist as this to the campus will only serve to encourage violence among those who are already on record for participating in protests calling for terrorist acts. This is someone who incites, whose entire raison d'etre is to bring about conflict between Jews and Arabs in the State of Israel.
"We call on the student union and the University administration not to authorize this event until it has been clarified that this inciteful singer will not be coming," Eliyahu added. "Those who support boycotting Israel have no place in publicly funded Israeli institutions."
In February 2022, Minister for Social Equality Merav Cohen decided to remove a video of Nafar from an educational program. The video was aired as part of a campaign to stop violence against women. Cohen's decision was made in the wake of multiple appeals from the Betsalmo rights organization.
In their appeal, Betsalmo noted that, "Nafar is a violent person who supports hate, evil, and violence." They cited his song, "Who's a terrorist," and added that Nafar encourages Arab youth not to sign up for National Service. "The campaign against violence is excellent, but not with someone who himself supports violence," they stressed. "This is someone who stirs up hatred and seeks to cause strife. Thank G-d there are enough Israeli-Arabs who support peace," they concluded, asking Cohen to find someone else to use in the campaign.
In another incident, Welfare Minister Meir Cohen withdrew his support of a broadcast starring Nafar after Otzma Yehudit head Itamar Ben-Gvir wrote to him, describing the singer as "an extremist-nationalist musician who incites to boycott the State of Israel with anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli messages. This is someone who compares Israel to the Nazis and accuses Israeli of terrorism against Palestinians. He justifies terrorist activity and the Intifada."