Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva has cancelled a start of year event scheduled by its Arab students. It was due to take place on December 7th, and to include a fair with a Bedouin tent, stalls selling traditional food, Arabic crafts, and a musical performance. But at short notice the university authorities refused permission for the Bedouin tent, the stalls, and the display of notices in Arabic. They also said that the musical performance had to be held in a hall that couldn’t accommodate the crowds expected. And they refused permission for two of the singers to perform, on ‘political’ and ‘security’ grounds. The student union cancelled the event.
Ben-Gurion University has form. In November an approved performance by the East Jerusalem oud player Canaan Ghoul was cancelled by the university authorities at only two days’ notice citing his support for BDS. And in the summer they took disciplinary action against a student who read from a poem by Mahmoud Darwish, effectively the Palestinian national poet, at a Nakba Day ceremony.
The shift of Israeli politics still further to the right is being felt on Israel’s campuses as freedoms are closed down.
The Haaretz editorial, containing further detail, is behind the paper’s pay wall.