Tel Aviv University released a statement Sunday night revoking the approval for Muhammad Kana’ane, who served nearly five years in an Israeli prison for his involvement with Hezbollah, to speak at a scheduled conference on campus.
“Tel Aviv University adheres to the approval given to hold an event on campus [Monday] to mark Land Day. However, given the concern about harm to the public order, and since the request for the explicit participation of Muhammad Kana’ane was made only recently, without enabling preparations, the university does not approve of his participation in the event,” the TAU statement read.
Kana’ane was invited to speak at a conference on Monday organized by the left-wing Hadash and Alouad-Bnei Hakfar student groups in honor of the thirty-eighth Land Day, which was celebrated on March 30.
His participation in the planned event sparked outrage among right-wing groups on campus.
Some 300 students from the Likud, Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid student groups and the Im Tirtzu movement held a protest on campus Sunday calling on the institution to cancel the planned visit of Kana’ane.
“The aim of the Zionist groups on campus is not to silence but to maintain normal and legitimate boundaries.
The invitation of a terrorist to campus is crossing a redline for us, and we all opposed this to say ‘not in our school,’” said Or Zaken-Amit, head of the Likud student group at TAU.
Inbar Amir, head of the Yesh Atid student group at TAU, said that she stands behind the protest and the collaboration between all the Zionist groups.
“We call for a change in the regulations and for a moral and ethical change. We do not agree that a discourse on terrorism should be held within the university.
The right-wing student groups also wrote a letter to TAU president Prof. Joseph Klafter last Monday, which they publicized Sunday.
“We would like to remind you that there are many students at the university who were injured in terrorist activities like those Kana’ane had helped, and many of us have served and are still serving in the reserves to protect Israeli citizens from the threat of terrorism – only to discover that terrorists like Muhammad Kana’ane are guests of honor at the university,” the letter stated.
MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) issued a statement on Sunday condemning the event.
“I wonder how the university administration lends its support to this outrageous decision, to provide a platform and pay tribute to terror, to war.
How do you allow someone – who could have easily caused the deaths of these same students in front of which he will lecture – to deliver his hate speeches against Israel?” she said.
“Happily, there are students who will not sit quietly while this farce takes place on campus,” she said.