Education minister: TAU Nakba event ´outrageous´ (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST COM STAFF 05/11/12)
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Education Minister Gideon Sa´ar asked Tel Aviv University President
Professor Joseph Klaftner to reconsider his decision to allow
students to organize an "outrageous" on-campus ceremony to
commemorate Nakba Day.
The Nakba, meaning "catastrophe" in Arabic, is an annual
commemoration when Arabs mourn the creation of the State of Israel at
the expense of the Palestinians that were living in territory
liberated by Israeli forces in 1948. The Palestinian narrative
recounts how hundreds of thousands of Arabs were either forced or
felt compelled to leave behind their homes, with many fleeing to
Israel´s neighboring countries where they remain until this day.
TAU announced this week that it would allow students to organize a
Nakba Day commemoration under certain provisions, including hiring
six school security guards to monitor the day´s events. The school
administration also prohibited organizers from using a PA system and
hanging flags and banners.
Speaking with the university president, Sa´ar said he thought the
university´s decision to allow the ceremony was "false and
outrageous," Army Radio reported.
While allowing the event, TAU likely feels pressured to maintain
security on a potentially explosive day after regional events last
year saw hundreds of Syrians storm Israel´s Golan borders, and 15
Palestinians killed during demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza
Students organizing the event said the commemoration would include a
moment of silence in order to emphasize the importance of the
Palestinian day of mourning, which falls on the day after the
Gregorian date of Israel´s independence. The event at TAU´s Antine
Square is scheduled for May 14.
In addition, organizers will read an alternative version of "Yizkor,"
the prayer for Israel´s fallen soldiers traditionally read at
TAU approved the students´ ceremony despite the Nakba Law, passed in
the Knesset last year and upheld by the High Court of Justice in
January, which allows the finance minister to cut the budget of any
state-funded institution or body that holds events that mark the
Jewish state´s independence as a day of mourning. (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 05/11/12)
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