Technion protest
Photo: Ahiya Raved
Students at Ben Gurion University
Photo: Lihi Slefter

Students protest in support of IDF

(Video) 'After seeing lecturers at anti-Israel protest, I decided to show we are Zionists,' says Beersheba student

VIDEO - Hundreds of students protested Tuesday at Israel's universities in identification with the IDF and its raid on ships bound for Gaza. They waved Israeli flags and called out in favor of Navy commando soldiers.


Just a day has gone by since the raid, but hundreds responded to calls to protest outside the gates of Ben Gurion University in Beersheba and the Technion in Haifa.  


"I expected only about 50 people but many more came," said Avi, a student at Ben Gurion. He asked not to be identified by his full name because "the lecturers at the university are leftists."


Avi said he had organized the protest because "yesterday we felt bad about the protest held by Arab and Bedouin students."


On Monday a small group of leftist demonstrators protested against the IDF at the university. Anat Peretz, a second-year student of Politics and Government said, "After entering the university yesterday I saw some of my lecturers taking part in an anti-Israel rally, and I saw students hang their heads. I decided to show that we are a Zionist campus and spread the word. There have been no curses, racist remarks, or violent acts of any kind."


Ben Gurion's student union asked that protestors keep the peace and maintain an academic atmosphere on campus, and asked both sides to protest democratically.


Meanwhile, at the entrance to the Technion in Haifa more then 300 students participated in a rally supporting the IDF and the state. They waved Israeli flags and held up signs saying, "Justice is with the IDF".


One of the students said the rally was organized at the last minute. "There were a lot of positive responses within a short time. We received support and proved that the Technion and the students are not indifferent," he said.


At Haifa University two opposing groups gathered, one of Arab students supporting the passengers of the flotilla, and the other of Jewish students supporting the IDF and denouncing the Arab protest. Police say officers are providing a barrier between the two groups, and no violent occurrences have been reported.


Ilana Curiel contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 06.01.10, 14:45
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