Some 200 right wing protestors faced off with 400 leftist protestors who sought to hold a Palestinian 'Nakba Day' ceremony
– commemorating the "disaster" of the foundation of the State of Israel
– at Tel Aviv University, Monday.
Three protestors were arrested after the confrontations. The right wing protestors called out at the organizer of the event, who was arrested: "Traitor!"
from the right waved Israeli flags and signs that read: "When I came to Israel there was no Palestinian nation," and "I'm proud to be Israeli," they also sang Israeli songs. They also prevented the ceremony's organizers from speaking and booed them repeatedly.
During the ceremony the leftist activists read out what they said was "an alternative Yizkor prayer." Six Arab students presented their personal stories and those present stood for a moment of silence.
In addition the right wing protestors shouted: "Death to terrorists," and "terrorists out." One of them burnt a cardboard drawing of a Palestinian flag. Another shouted out: "Murderers, where were you when a little girl was killed." The left wing protestors responded with: "You're the murderers."
Earlier on Monday a Knesset Education Committee turned into a loud confrontation when the Committee Chairman Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu) called on the university to cancel the events. "Today they're reading out Yizkor for the Nakba fallen tomorrow they'll hold a memorial day for Nazi soldiers, he said."
MK Ahmad Tibi called for the chairman to be dismissed for making the comparison.
Tel Aviv University Chairman Moti Cohen stressed that "the event was approved in accordance with the students' right law and the State budget law. It is an event that does not include incitement or offense, it is a memorial event.
"We are a democratic institution in a democratic country and as long as there is no fear of breaking the law, we approve student requests to hold events."
He added that should the event deviate from the regulations it will be dispersed.