Ben-Gurion University Summons Hadash Student Over Mahmoud Darwish Quote

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev summoned Watan Madi, a student and leading Hadash activist, to disciplinary proceedings tomorrow (Monday) over a Mahmoud Darwish quote she read at a Nakba Day rally — the university claims that reading the call by the famed Palestinian poet to “not forget the martyrs” constitutes support for terrorism.

Watan Madi, a student and leading Hadash activist in the Nakba Day memorial event held at Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva on last May (Photo: Zo Haderech)

At the Nakba Day memorial event organized by the campus Hadash chapter back in May, Madi concluded her speech with Darwish’s words, “We will not forget the martyrs who fulfilled the unity of the country, the people and history.”

The summons letter was sent on Wednesday following a complaint filed by the university’s chapter of Im Tirtzu, a fascist Zionist group, according to which the student is “suspected of behavior that involves disobedience, or refusal to obey the instructions of the authorities.” According to the summons, the university sees the waving of Palestinian flags during the event as a reinforcement to the claim that Madi “expressed support for terrorism.”

Madi told Zo Haderech that Im Tirzu “keeps going after leftists on campuses. It’s unclear how you turn a passage that closes with a call for freedom and peace and turn it into support for terrorism. It’s absurd.”

During an Education, Culture, and Sports Committee of the Knesset meeting on the topic of “Freedom of expression, incitement and violence on campuses,” held on last May, Madi, said: “I’m a student who suffers from an extreme right-wing campaign. It’s no accident that they chose to direct an incitement and persecution campaign against two women students. They wrote about her, ‘I hope she gets raped’ and other harsh things. Does it frighten you that an Arab woman is part of a justified struggle?”