Tel Aviv University (TAU) reversed on Monday, May 20, its previous decision and has formally approved the holding of a lecture on the subject of the Nakba to be delivered by Hadash MK Ofer Cassif, after earlier having prohibited the event for “violating the Nakba law.”
The Association for Civil Rights (ACRI) in Israel said following TAU’s earlier decision that was been the first time since the legislation was passed in 2011 that the organization received a report of such a decision by an academic institution. ACRI appealed the university’s refusal to permit the lecture, explaining that the law does not forbid Nakba-related activity in public or academic institutions, but only allows the state to revoke funding from public institutions giving financial support to such events. “In light of the fact that the event is not organized or budgeted by Tel Aviv University, there is no legal basis for rejecting the event” they wrote at the time.
Hadash’s student organization at the university welcomed the decision, saying it was not the first time they had encountered difficulties with their activity on campus following pressure from the right-wing government, which aims to silence critical voices of Arabs and Jews on the political left.
In reaction to the university’s earlier prohibition of letting him deliver the lecture, MK Cassif said that any attempts “to silence those who speak about the Nakba will not make the Nakba itself or the stain it leaves on our lives go away. We must recognize crimes committed in the past to have a shared future, with equality and peace for both peoples.”