Haaretz Palestinian affairs reporter Amira Hass was asked to leave a conference at Ramallah’s Birzeit University last week because of the institution’s law banning Israeli Jews from the campus.
According to Hass’s account of the incident, published Sunday in Haaretz, two university employees who organized the conference on development in the Palestinian territories “were afraid… that students would break into the conference hall in protest over my presence.”
Hass explained that she “didn’t see a throng of students approaching in order to oust me, the representative of the ‘Zionist entity'” and that, contrary to rumors, she wasn’t attacked during her visit to the school. One of the university lecturers explained to Hass that “it is important for students to have a safe space where (Jewish) Israelis are not entitled to enter.”
“If I had known about the existence of such a law, I wouldn’t have come to the conference,” she wrote, adding, however, that she “did not take it personally” that she was asked to leave for being an Israeli Jew.
“I understand the emotional need of Palestinians to create a safe space that is off-limits to citizens of the state that denies them their rights and has been robbing them of their land,” Hass declared.