MK Hanin Zoabi
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Haifa University cancels speech by Zoabi

'Nakba Day' events cause wary university president to 'freeze all public, political activities' on campus

Haifa University canceled a lecture by Arab MK Hanin Zoabi Sunday, after announcing it would be imposing a moratorium on all political activities planned for the next few days over the violent occurrences that took place throughout Israel on 'Nakba Day'.


Rightists planning a counter-protest with MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu), during which they planned to disrupt Zoabi's lecture, were also disappointed.


A university statement says that the tense atmosphere that emerged throughout Israel following the numerous acts of violence enacted against the state on Sunday has caused the president of Haifa University to "freeze all public and political activity at the university for the near future".


"The university's management will not put up with any effort to create provocations," the statement adds. Recently the institute of higher learning canceled a lecture by the Islamic Movement's northern branch, Sheikh Raed Salah.


But members of the Balad movement represented by Zoabi say they will continue to demand her presence. "We continue to plan and promote the event with the rest of the Arab students," said Rabia Id, of the movement.


"We don't want to create provocations or give the university's security department a reason to operate against us, but I don't think the university should be behaving like the Shin Bet. It needs to protect us as students and allow us to express our opinion and hold the event."


Id added that their plans are often blocked by the university's rightist cell, recalling that when last she visited the university, Zoabi was allotted a tiny classroom where she met with just 30 students.


But Shahaf Leibowitz, who represents the Jewish students, said the MK may still visit despite the university's decision. "If she arrives we plan on participating in the event and asking her some burning questions," he said.


"We are familiar with the opinions of Hanin Zoabi, her activities and doings, and we know she runs a smear campaign against Israel, as was made clear to the entire world during the flotilla events, a meeting with Gaddafi, and when she came out and called for a third intifada. We will not sit by as a public academic institute is used for incitement and terror."



פרסום ראשון: 05.16.11, 08:09
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