Israeli students at Haifa University danced and chanted “Death to the Arabs” at a rally on Sunday to support Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Now in its sixth day, the assault which began when Israel violated a tenuous ceasefire, has killed more than 90 Palestinians among them two dozen children, including members of the al-Dalu family which lost four young children and six adults when their home was flattened by an Israeli bomb.
The video clip shows hundreds of students singing “Hatikva,” the Jewish supremacist national anthem of Israel. At the end of the clip multiple voices can be heard chanting “mavet la’aravim,” Hebrew for “Death to the Arabs.”
Hate leaders welcomed on campus
According to the Israeli publication Magazine Hamoshavot student leaders said some 1,300 people participated in the rally which was called to “support the State of Israel” and the army.
In attendance were extremist leaders such as Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari, who has been at the forefront of inciting violence and racial and religious hatred, extremist Knesset member Arye Eldad, and violent settler activist Baruch Marzel. Marzel was prevented by security from coming on campus, according to Magazine Hamoshavot.
Flags were distributed to students by members of the far-right anti-Palestinian campus group Im Tirtzu.
Call for expulsion of Arab students
A specific goal of the rally appears to have been not just to “support” the state and the army as they slaughter people in Gaza, but specifically to incite against Palestinian students at the university, who had held an anti-war rally last week.
Anti-Palestinian activists and websites spread rumors and false accusations that the Palestinian students had held a minute of silence for Ahmad al-Jabari, the Hamas military commander whose extrajudicial execution by Israel set off the current escalation.
These accusations provided an opportunity for anti-Arab incitement and calls for expulsion:
“We came here to say that Haifa University is not a branch of Balad,” [Knesset member] Ben-Ari told Magazine Hamoshavot. “Haifa University is a Jewish and Zionist university.” And [Knesset member] Eldad said: “if the State of Israel finances the university, it cannot finance its enemies, or people who identify with its enemies at a ceremony at the university. This is intolerable.” He added: “they come here to express their identification with a mega-killer, a man who was executed by Israel.” He proposed “that the university arrange buses for them to Gaza, so they can sit in the mourning tabernacle and participate personally in the family’s grief.” He then added that “no return transportation needed to be organized.”
Balad is the party of Palestinian Knesset member Haneen Zoabi, who unlike extremists Ben-Ari and Eldad, was banned from speaking on the Haifa University campus two years ago when Palestinians wanted to commemorate the Nakba.
Aamer Ibrahim, a student at Haifa University, noted the hostile atmosphere for Arab students in several tweets.
Because of the tensions on campus, Amos Shapira, the president of the university has ordered the suspension of political activity on campus for two weeks, Magazine Hamoshavot reported.
90 percent of Israeli Jews support Gaza attack
As the bombs fall on Gaza, incitement to violence and racism has been common by prominent Israeli public figures. An opinion poll by Haaretz showed that more than 90 percent of Jewish Israelis support the attack on Gaza.
With thanks to Dena Shunra for translation.