University Cancels Disciplinary Proceedings Against Hadash Student

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev canceled on Wednesday the disciplinary proceedings against Watan Madi, a student and leading Hadash activist, for using the word “shahid’ (martyr) during a ceremony last May marking the Nakba Day. The University’s academic secretariat further explained that holding a new procedure would lead to “unreasonable delay of justice”, therefore the decision was taken to halt all further disciplinary acts.

The complaint against Madi was filed to the university last year by the fascist Zionist organization Im Tirzu after she quoted Palestinian poet Darwish in a demonstration marking the Nakba Day.

Watan Madi at the Nakba Day memorial event held at Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva on last May (Photo: Al Ittihad)

On last July Ben-Gurion University summoned Madi to disciplinary proceedings 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. 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 following a complaint filed by Im Tirtzu, 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.”

Attorney Dan Yakir, who represented Madi on behalf of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, welcomed the University’s decision, but added that the very enactment of the procedure, in the first place, harmed Madi’s rights and good name.