Hundreds of students at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan signed a petition on Thursday in support of Professor Mordechai Kedar, who has been summoned for a disciplinary hearing following controversial remarks about the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Channel 12 reported.

Kedar, a scholar of Arabic culture at Bar-Ilan and notable advocate for Israel, claimed this week that Yigal Amir, although convicted for the crime, was not the person who murdered Rabin in 1995.

The university subsequently suspended him from representing it at overseas conferences.

The petition, initiated by the Bar-Ilan University branch of the Zionist watchdog Im Tirtzu, called the university’s actions hypocritical.

“Dr. Kedar invests his own time and energy to defend the State of Israel and to fight the lies, incitement and propaganda that are leveled against the state and its citizens,” the students wrote in the petition. “While Israeli academia is infested with professors who, at the taxpayers’ expense, defame Israel, support BDS and promote anti-Zionism, Bar-Ilan University specifically chose to discipline Dr. Kedar.”

The students continued: “When Dr. Uri Weiss of Bar-Ilan University said that the murder of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel in Kiryat Arba occurred due to the ‘fanatical ideology’ and ‘collective psychosis’ of her parents, he wasn’t condemned or summoned to a disciplinary hearing.”

“When Professor Orna Sasson-Levy of Bar-Ilan University participated in events and signed petitions in support of the radical propaganda organization ‘Breaking the Silence,’ Bar-Ilan did not take issue with it,” wrote the students. “Instead, the university chose to go after and to harm the livelihood and reputation of a man who devoted his life to ensuring the future of Israel.”

The students concluded by saying, “One can criticize Dr. Kedar as he criticizes others, and say that his remarks are wrong or inappropriate—that is what makes Israel a free and open country. But harming his reputation and livelihood and trying to silence him through disciplinary committees is something else entirely.”

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