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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Your tax shekels and charitable donations at work: Tel Aviv U planning naqba commemoration

They've been commemorating naqba day at taxpayer and donor financed Tel Aviv University (TAU) for years. The difference this year is that we now have a law on the book that forbids anyone who gets money from the government (which would include TAU) from conducting naqba commemorations. Education Minister Gideon Saar has urged TAU's President to comply with the law.
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar asked Tel Aviv University President Professor Joseph Klaftner over the weekend to reconsider his decision to allow students to organize an “outrageous” on-campus ceremony to commemorate Nakba 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.

Students organizing the event said the commemoration would include a moment of silence 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 memorial ceremonies.
If the university goes through with this, the government will take away all their funding... won't they?

More here (link in Hebrew).

The significance of the security guards is that the students have to pay for them and not the university (link in Hebrew). The university apparently hopes that by having the students pay, the university will not be deemed a sponsor and therefore in violation of the law.

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