Tel Aviv U. students marking Nakba face counter protest


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Students at Tel Aviv University who marked Nakba Day with an approved campus ceremony were met with a counter demonstration.

Campus employees and other students protested the ceremony Monday marking what the Arabs call the "catastrophe" — the date on the Gregorian calendar when Israel achieved statehood in 1948 — outside the main gate of the university.

The 400 participants in the demonstration were met with about 200 counter demonstrators, according to Ynet. At least three people were arrested.

The ceremony was not allowed to be broadcast on loudspeakers or a sound system, and organizers had to provide several hundred dollars for six security guards for the event.

The event was scheduled to include an alternative version of Yizkor, the Jewish prayer of mourning, as well as speakers reading the names of pre-1948 Palestinian villages inside what today is Israel and a moment of silence, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Israeli Education Minister Gideon Saar on Sunday tried to convince the university to revoke its permission for the event during a conversation with university President Joseph Klafter. 

"The education minister is of the opinion that the decision is wrong and infuriating," Saar’s spokesman told Haaretz.

Jewish and Arab students organized the event.

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