(November 4, 2018 / JNS)
Students at Ben-Gurion University expressed outrage over a scheduled musical performance on campus by the pro-BDS group, DAM.
The Israeli-Arab hip-hop group is scheduled to perform on Monday evening at Ben-Gurion University’s “Student House,” in an event organized by the university’s Student Union.
The controversial band regularly promotes anti-Israel rhetoric in its songs, and has called for BDS, equated Israel to Nazi Germany, and labelled Zionism as “racist and terrorist.”
Students from the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu sent a letter to Ben-Gurion University president Rivka Carmi and started a petition calling on the university to cancel the event.
“Rather than promoting reconciliation, coexistence and understanding,” charged the letter, “you chose to invite a group to campus that promotes hatred, incitement, calls to refuse IDF enlistment, called the State of Israel ‘Nazis,’ and supports the BDS movement.”
In their letter to Carmi, the student activists also called attention to the fact that the Student Union receives funding from the university, which is funded by public funds.
“If David Ben-Gurion were alive to see this radical performance occurring in the university named after him, he would not stand idly by,” said Yuval Varsulker, coordinator of Im Tirtzu’s Ben-Gurion University branch.
Dov Trachtman, a master’s student from Sderot, called the performance a ”disgrace.”
“As a resident of Sderot that has been suffering from incessant rocket fire and incendiary bombs, it is a disgrace that the university is hosting a band that encourages Gaza ‘freedom fighters,’ said Trachtman. “And this is all occurring in an institution that is funded by public funds.”
Ben-Gurion University responded: “The principle of academic and artistic freedom of expression stands at the base of every academic institution, provided that it does not harm state security and operates according to law. The performance of said band is within the framework of an event by Arab students on campus, and was duly approved by the relevant bodies within the framework of the institution’s accepted practices.”
*Link to the petition: https://goo.gl/iMjGXx