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Haifa U. ‘betrayed’ hostages, says student union chairman

The student union chairman accused the Haifa University administration of hypocrisy for organizing a solidarity rally after reversing the suspension of terror-supporting students.

Aerial view of Haifa university, Sept. 20, 2018. Photo by Matanya Tausig/Flash90.
Aerial view of Haifa university, Sept. 20, 2018. Photo by Matanya Tausig/Flash90.

The chairman of the University of Haifa Student Union on Sunday harshly criticized the school’s administration, accusing it of betraying the student body and the hostages being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking at a solidarity rally for the hostages, Elad Asis said, “How much hypocrisy is needed to organize a solidarity rally like this with the families of the abductees only one week after you brought back here terrorist supporters. You returned the students that supported the human animals that kidnapped those for whom you organized the rally. I’m embarrassed.”

“And I say to you that the absolute majority of the student community at the university—Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze—we’re all embarrassed to be part of Haifa University at this time. What you did betrayed us, the student public, but worse than that, it’s a betrayal of them. It’s a betrayal of the hostages,” he continued.

Haifa University rector professor Gur Alroey suspended eight Arab students at the start of the month for expressing support on social media for the Oct. 7 massacre.

A week later his decision was overturned by the administration, which argued that Alroey made his decision without proper authority and that first a discussion should take place between the university and the students, Channel 14 reported.

The eight students were among hundreds of Haifa University students, mainly Arabs, brought up on disciplinary hearings for social media posts in support of the Hamas attack.

Most of the students are being represented by Adalah, which describes itself as “an independent human rights organization and legal center,” but which watchdog group NGO Monitor has documented as engaging in numerous anti-Israel legal activities.

In an undated Zoom call posted by Channel 14, professor Alroey tells officials from Israeli academia why he suspended the students.

“We are starting to receive from social networks and from WhatsApp images of statements by students who upload photos [and] support Hamas and their actions,” he says.

“[We’re not talking about] support for the Palestinian people or the Palestinian flag, but support for the shocking actions of Hamas,” he adds, giving an example of one student who wrote, “Hitler did not have time to burn you in the Holocaust, and so we are burning you now.”

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