Bar-Ilan University bans pro-Israel Advocacy Material about Nakba & Palestinian Refugees

Bar-Ilan University prohibited a student group on campus from distributing pro-Israel advocacy material about the Nakba and the Palestinian refugees.

The ban occurred earlier this week ahead of the university’s “student group fair,” an event in which student groups on campus were invited to present their groups to the students.

One of the student groups, Im Tirtzu, was denied permission by the university from distributing its “Nakba Nonsense” and “The Palestinian Refugee Lie” booklets, which according to Im Tirtzu are its most popular booklets and have been distributed for years in every Israeli university without issue.

Im Tirtzu’s Bar-Ilan University branch was notified of the university’s decision via email on the evening prior to the fair, despite having submitted its material for review two weeks prior as is required by the university. The university’s email did not provide explanation as to why it barred Im Tirtzu from distributing its booklets.

The group was also initially denied permission to distribute complimentary bags to IDF reservists, but received permission hours before the fair after petitioning the university.

According to Bar-Ilan University’s guidelines for public activities, the university is required to provide student groups with an answer regarding their materials within three days of submission, in order to provide the group with enough time to appeal the decision if necessary.

“The university’s conduct is unfitting and goes against its very own guidelines,” said Carlos Bigio, the deputy head of Im Tirtzu’s Bar-Ilan University branch.

“It is unfortunate to see how the university administration, which is supposed to promote discussion and social activities, is working to silence students and prevent their freedom of expression.”

“We will continue to be the spearhead of Zionist activity on campus and to ensure that the Zionist spirit continues to flourish on campus,” added Bigio.

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Im Tirtzu is a Zionist non-governmental organization based in Israel. Its name is derived from an epigraph appended to the frontespiece of Theodor Herzl’s novel Altneuland, ‘if you wish it, it is no fairy-tale,’ rendered into modern Hebrew in Nahum Sokolow’s translation in 1903, as Im tirtzu ein zo agadah.

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