Hebrew U. students speak out against BDS activist in their ranks
“I, personally, am uninterested in studying with a BDS activist."
By TAMAR URIEL-BEERIUpdated: OCTOBER 25, 2018 12:12
Lara Alqasem’s arrival in Israel sparked controversy from left to right — both in the country and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Alqasem, an alleged former supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, was stopped at the airport in the beginning of October when she arrived. She was scheduled to study human rights at Hebrew University.Hebrew University students did not seem to know enough to comment on Alqasem’s arrival. Out of those questioned, approximately 70% did not have an opinion about her.Ariel, a communications and accounting student, spoke out against Alqasem’s arrival at the university, saying that he believes the university “crossed a line, and it doesn’t help the goals of the university.”“It’s a shame there’s no voice of reason in the university to limit this,” he said.“The university expressed an opinion, as representative of the student body, without any referendum among them,” said Nitzan, a Jewish studies student at the Mount Scopus campus. “I, personally, am uninterested in studying with a BDS activist. From the moment the interior minister stated that it would be improper for her to enter the country, it became improper for her to study at the university.”Nathan, a history and international relations student, had similar opinions to his other fellow classmates.“I think it’s a disgrace,” he said. “It proves that we don’t have any sort of laws that make a difference here. Whether you vote Likud or Meretz, it doesn’t matter because if the Supreme Court doesn’t like your law, they’ll just strike it down. This is a matter of national security.”AdvertisementSeveral students, on the other hand, expressed opposing views. Nicole, for example, a political science student, stated that Alqasem is “a little girl. The fact that she behaved a certain way out of the country... In the end, she is coming here for a certain reason. I believe they made an elephant out of a fly,” she continued. “She’s a 20-year-old. She’s a fly.”Uri, a literature and psychology student, said that he “doesn’t believe anyone who says anything on the subject,” and therefore finds it “completely all right” that she studies at Hebrew University.