The University of Haifa has prohibited at the institution the distribution of a flyer in Hebrew and Arabic containing the phrase “ethnic cleansing.”
The leaflet, written and initially handed out by Hadash and Communist Party of Israel students, was prepared towards the holding of this year’s Nakba Day event on campus to commemorate the flight or expulsion of more than 700,000 Arabs from their homes during the 1947-49 war in which Israel achieved independence. At its bottom, the flyer refers to “[an] exhibition of photographs of villages and cities that underwent ethnic cleansing in 1948” that will be held on campus in conjunction with the event.
In a letter to the organizers on Sunday, May 7, Dean of Students Jenny Kurman said the term “’ethnic cleansing’ breached the terms of tolerance and undermined public order at the university.”
A dozen right-wing student activists demonstrated outside the University of Haifa campus on Monday, May 8, protesting the event. On Sunday, the student wing of the Likud (PM Netanyahu’s far-right party) along with the fascist activist group Im Tirtzu, demanded that the event being organized by Arab and Jewish students of the left-wing Hadash coalition be cancelled.