The Nakba Day commemorations at Tel Aviv University.
(photo credit: HADASH PR)
Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh (Hadash) attended a “Nakba Day” ceremony at Entin Square in front of the main entrance to Tel Aviv University on Wednesday.
The Arab-Jewish Hadash Party group at the school along with other leftist groups organized the event.
Im Tirtzu NGO held a Zionist counter-demonstration with the banner “Nakba Nonsense” and waved Israeli flags.
A couple of hundred Nakba protesters and a few dozen Zionist counter-protesters were in front of the university at midday, with a heavy police presence. The event passed relatively peacefully with only a few arrests after a scuffle broke out when an activist allegedly tried to take down the Palestinian flag.
Im Tirtzu placed a large banner stating: “Nakba ??? Israel will not mourn your failure to massacre us in 1948.” The organization handed out brochures that sought to counter the Nakba narrative.
(Photo: Courtesy of Im Tirtzu
Another Nakba event took place at the University of Haifa in the afternoon and Im Tirtzu representatives handed out brochures there.
“The purpose of Nakba Day events held in Israel, especially in academia, is to etch in the mind of Israeli society the impression that the country was established in sin and through war crimes,” Im Tirtzu head Matan Peleg said. “This is a falsification of history based on anti-Israel political motives.
“We call upon all Israeli institutions financed by public funds, especially academic institutions, not to allow any propaganda activities calling for Israel’s destruction [to be conducted] on their grounds,” Peleg added.
Muhammad Kana’neh from the nationalist Bnei Hakfar (Sons of the Land) movement also attended.
Kana’neh was prevented by Tel Aviv University from giving a lecture last year to commemorate Land Day.
In 2004, Kana’aneh pleaded guilty to one count of “contact with a foreign agent,” and was sentenced to 30 months in prison and two years suspended incarceration.
In 2005, an appeals court extended Kana’neh’s sentence to four-and-a-half years in prison.