Israeli, Palestinian flags spark fight on campus

Im Tirtzu students set up memorial table to slain soldier Ron Kokia, who was killed in Arad; Arab students displayed Palestinian flag in response, leading to scuffle; 'University president at fault,' says Im Tirtzu director.

Violence erupted between Jewish and Arab students at the Hebrew University's Mount Scopus campus on Monday, after students from the right-wing Im Tirtzu club set up an Israeli flag draped table in memory of Sergeant Ron Yitzchok Kokia, who was stabbed to death last week while Arab students set up their own stand draped in a Palestinian flag in response.



Within minutes, a fight broke out between the two sides and campus security had to be called to break it up.


According to director of Im Tirtzu, Matan Peleg, the Arab students are activists of the Arab Joint List Knesset party.


Campus scuffle
Campus scuffle


"The increasing violence by these students does not surprise anyone," said Peleg. "They sow hatred and violence. The university allows them to call for the destruction of the State of Israel on campus in the name of free speech; this paves the way for more drastic actions. The responsibility for the violence is on the president of the university, and we are calling on Minister of Education Naftali Bennet to urgently summon him for a hearing. The writing was on the wall." 


Students fight over symbols
Students fight over symbols


The university released a statement saying, "We allow freedom of expression for a variety of beliefs and opinions, so long as they are not against the law. The various campus clubs are requested to adhere to the rules and refrain from any sort of violence, verbal or physical. Campus security broke up the scuffle in order to protect the safety of the students."


The Student Union expressed sadness that "the pluralistic venue of the Hebrew University was taken advantage of and that differences of opinion on campus deteriorated into violence. We support open dialogue that tolerates all sorts of opinions acceptable by the university and we condemn any violence between these walls."



פרסום ראשון: 12.04.17, 20:53
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