A stir has been caused at the Ben-Gurion University over a special concert organized by the student union for reserve soldiers only. "Arab students don't want to come to the show? foreign students? This is shameful for the university," one lecturer said.
The student union didn't expect the concert will prompt any protest. It is planning to hold a special tribute concert by Israeli musician Izhar Ashdot for reserve soldiers. Reservists will pay NIS 10 to enter the event. Approximately 2,000 tickets have already been sold.
One science lecturer was appalled to learn the concert will only be open to IDF reserve soldiers. In a harsh e-mail sent to students she wrote: "I was appalled to see the ad. One can help reservists by providing grants. The ad is reminiscent of racist bills repeatedly proposed in the Knesset. Female students aren't invited? Students who didn't serve because of an illness should suffer at home?"
Student Union Chairman Uri Keidar said: "We strongly condemn the attempt to portray our activities for soldiers who do reserve duty in a negative light.
"The concert is a tribute concert for Israeli citizens from the first order who contribute to the state and carry the burden. Any attempt to spin it in an unfit way is demagogical and cynic," he added.
Ben-Gurion University President Rebecca Carmi is scheduled to attend the event, the university said in a statement.
"Any gesture for students performing reserve duty is fitting and welcome," the statement noted.
"Thanks to them we are able to use our time for academic and social activism." The university stressed that the lecturer speaks only on her own behalf and that any inappropriate use of the university's e-mail network will be reviewed.
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