Safed Student Union causes uproar with ´racist´ regulation (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Tomer Velmer Published: 04.20.12, 10:01)
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Student Union at Zefat Academic College set to change protocol, allow
only students who served in IDF, national service to apply for union
Students at the Zefat Academic College are furious over a plan to
change the Student Union´s protocol and establish military or
national service as a prerequisite for students applying for the
position of union chairman. "It´s unacceptable that an entire sector
be disqualified in advance simply for being Arabs who don´t serve in
the IDF," one student said.
Some 60% of the students who attend the college are Arabs. The final
decision on the protocol change will be made next week. Meanwhile,
the Arab students are determined to fight the decision which they say
will hurt Safed´s already fragile coexistence.
"This is a very serious matter which affects the majority of the
students in the college," said Alla Abu Bakher, a student at the
college. "We have no intention of hurting anyone, but if the State of
Israel has chosen to exempt us of military service by law, then the
Safed Student Union cannot create its own law."
According to the amendment, only students who served for at least two
years in the IDF or did national service or served in some form of
civil capacity recognized by the State will be able to apply for the
position of union chairman.
Arab Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United List Ta´al) has asked Attorney
General Yehuda Weinstein to withdraw the clause. "This is a racist
and discriminatory amendment which goes against the law," Tibi
claimed. "Most of the students at the college are in fact Arabs which
makes the matter even more outrageous."
The Safed Student Union said in response: "The revised protocol was
approved by the majority of the union´s members which include both
Arabs and Jews. The clause is not directed against any particular
sector. As students, we expect that the person elected to represent
us is an example of the society in which he lives. The Israeli
society sees Arabs and Jews living side by side and those who
contribute to the community must not be discriminated against."
The union said that in light of comments they have received, the
matter will be reexamined at the next Student Union meeting.
The Zefat Academic College said in response," The student union is an
independent body that works separately from the college. The college
has no influence over decisions made by the union. The college is
reviewing the meaning of the protocol and will form a position early
next week." (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 04/20/12)
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