Arab students at Haifa University refuse to stand for Israel’s national anthem during graduation ceremony.
By World Israel News Staff
Arab-Israeli college students refused to stand while Israel’s national anthem was played during a graduation ceremony in northern Israel on Sunday, sparking criticism.
The incident occurred at a graduation ceremony for undergraduate students at Haifa University.
Towards the end of the graduation ceremony “Hatikva”, Israel’s national anthem, was played.
Many graduating Arab students refused to rise, despite being asked to stand in honor of the anthem.
One female student present at the graduation ceremony lambasted the students who refused to sing the anthem or even stand out of respect, telling Israel National News: “The situation was upsetting and inappropriate. They are Israeli citizens. Even if they don’t identify with its ideals, they should at least stand to honor the singing of the national anthem of the state they are a part of.”
Former Transportation Minister and Religious Zionist Party chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich tweeted Monday that the incident was part of a larger trend of anti-Israel hostility among young Israeli Arabs.
“This is critical for our future. The audacity, the impudence, and the gall of many Israeli Arabs has reached new heights and is turning into an existential threat [to Israel] and security threat to all of us.”
“You cannot eat from the state’s hand and at the same time spit on it. Can’t identify with the country and its anthem? So do get a college degree at the country’s expense. Go learn in Gaza. We’ll fix this.”
Last month, the University of Haifa came under fire for hosting a conference on the discredited research of the so-called ‘Tantura Massacre’ produced by Teddy Katz.
The Zionist NGO Im Tirtzu demanded university officials cancel the conference, which featured former Haifa University professor and BDS activist Ilan Pappé.