TAU Nakba Day counter-protest 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Around 1,000 people gathered outside of Tel Aviv University’s main gate on
Monday as students held a memorial ceremony to mark “Nakba Day,” the creation of
the Palestinian diaspora after the founding of the State of Israel.
crowd was more or less split between those attending the memorial and a
particularly raucous crowd of counter-demonstrators waving Israeli flags,
singing the national anthem, honking horns and drowning out the memorial
ceremony, with some protesters occasionally chanting “Havenu Nakba Alechem” (“We
brought a Nakba upon you”).
The memorial was the source of a significant
amount of controversy, with Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar calling on the
university to reconsider the decision to allow it, which he called “mistaken and
In the end, the university approved the memorial, which took
place one day before Nakba Day, traditionally held on May 15, but stipulated
that students must pay for their own security and could not use amplified speakers.
one organizer said the university required that they pay around NIS 1,000 for
security, there was also a heavy contingent of Border Police and Israel Police
officers on the scene. In addition, the counter-protesters were able to use a
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