Police separate ‘Nakba’ demonstrators and counter-protesters at Tel Aviv Uiniversity

Gavriel Fiske is a reporter at The Times of Israel

Arab and left-wing activist students attend a rally marking the Palestinian 'Nakba' anniversary at the Tel Aviv University on May 15, 2024. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Arab and left-wing activist students attend a rally marking the Palestinian 'Nakba' anniversary at the Tel Aviv University on May 15, 2024. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Police step in to physically separate those marking the Palestinian “Nakba” from a group of counter-protesters on the campus of Tel Aviv University. The event, which was approved by the university following High Court intervention, was organized by students from the leftist Hadash political party and attended by “several dozens,” according to a Ynet report.

Police were already present to provide security at the event, an annual demonstration on campus marking the “catastrophe” of Israel’s creation in 1948. The counter-protesters, who number “in the hundreds” according to a TAU official, include MK Almog Cohen of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party and Yoseph Haddad, an Arab Israeli journalist and activist. Many of them appear to be associated with Im Tirtzu, a right-wing NGO active on university campuses, according to Hebrew media reports.

In approving the event, the university said that “all citizens, Jews and Arabs, left and right, have the right to demonstrate… At the same time, it must be emphasized that we are in the midst of a war, in which the TAU community has lost dozens of its members. We call upon protestors on all sides to show responsibility and restraint, and respect the restrictions and rules set by the police,” according to a statement sent to The Times of Israel.

The “Nakba” is how the 1948 founding of the State of Israel is generally referred to in the Palestinian and Arab worlds, and events commemorating it are commonly held on May 15, which this year comes one day after Israel’s Independence Day — marked on the Hebrew date of the state’s founding.

Right-wing activists from the Im Tirzu movement demonstrate in front of a rally by Arab and left-wing activist students (unseen) marking the Palestinian ‘Nakba’ anniversary at the Tel Aviv University on May 15, 2024. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

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