A group of Hebrew University students protested the arrival of Lara Alqasem by hanging “welcome” flyers around the campus on Sunday, ahead of her expected arrival. The flyers included messages such as, “Lara, have you no shame?,” and “Keep your BDS off my campus.”
“We don’t want you here,” was written across the bottom of the posters.Alqasem was detained and not allowed to enter Israel as she fit the criteria of a BDS supporter, to whom the state bars entry. A protracted legal battle ensued culminating in a decision from the High Court of Justice, which ruled for her release on Thursday. The decision was slammed by Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, who has worked to bar BDS activists’ entry into Israel.“The court unfortunately granted a big victory for BDS,” Erdan said on Thursday, adding the decision proved the justices failed to understand the way the BDS Movement works and that it allows BDS activists to come from around the world, saying they no longer support boycotting Israel.The 22-year-old American student is slated to study on the Mount Scopus campus of Hebrew University, and while many praised the High Court’s decision, the organization Im Tirtzu distributed “welcome” flyers in Hebrew and English, which also emphasized Alqasem’s past support of Rasmea Odeh.“You support a terrorist who murdered two Hebrew University students and now you want to study here? We don’t want you here!” read the posters.Alqasem was the president of University of Florida’s chapter of National Students for Justice in Palestine. During her time there, the chapter organized a demonstration in support of Odeh. Odeh bombed a Jerusalem supermarket in 1969, killing two Israelis, and was deported from the US last year for having lied about her record on her citizenship application.The posters also suggested Alqasem should study in Gaza, Syria or Iran. “Lara, if you despise Israel so much, you are welcome to go to Gaza, Syria or Iran. They will welcome BDS and terrorist supporters like yourself with open arms,” some of the posters read.Lahav Harkov and Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.