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Say no to Nakba Day Photo: Gil Yohanan
Say no to Nakba Day Photo: Gil Yohanan
 
 

Say no to Nakba on campus

Op-ed: Israel should not allow university events that mourn Jewish state's very establishment

Hagai Segal
Published: 05.16.12, 18:51 / Israel Opinion

Members of Tel Aviv University's Statistics Department will tell you that support for Nakba Day events closely corresponds to boycotts of cultural halls in the territories. Indeed, the automatic defenders of the Nakba Day rally at the university are also the first to boycott and undermine the other side's ability to express itself.

 

The freedom of expression they fight for so bitterly only applies to their own freedoms. There is no way they would resort to similar rhetorical juggling in favor of holding a commemoration rally for Jewish outposts razed by the High Court of Justice. There is also no way Tel Aviv University would permit such rally.

 

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The permission granted by university management to the Nakba rally contained a subconscious component of identification with the very idea and not only with organizers' right to express it. Indeed, this academic institution has been nurturing pangs of conscience over the events of 1948.

 

With every passing year, the university is having greater trouble contending with the fact that we established a state here despite Arab objections. This is why it approved the rally without thinking twice. To this point, the school still does not understand what's the problem – it's been listening to the Palestinian narrative so closely that it developed emotional indifferent to the Jewish narrative.

 

When the education minister urged the university to renounce the permit for the event, he performed his national and educational role well. A healthy state cannot show indifference to a rally meant to express great sorrow over the state's very establishment.

 

If Israel shows indifference nonetheless, future rallies will be much cheekier. They will pertain not to the terrible disaster faced by the Arabs here 64 years ago, but rather, to the disaster that should befall the Jews soon; that is, returning the descendents of the refugees to the homes of their forefathers.

 

If you don’t believe this, go ahead and take a look at the website of the Zochrot non-profit group, a Jewish-Arab organization dedicated to promoting the memory of the Nakba, also one of the rally's organizers. When they speak about "the occupation," they refer to 1948, not 1967. For them, Tel Aviv University is in fact still Sheikh Munis.

 

Should their PR campaign not encounter fierce government objection, one of these days we may have to hold a Jewish Nakba rally around here, although it's not quite clear whether Mahmoud Abbas or Ismail Haniyeh would approve it.

 

 

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