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Israel Uni postpones hearing against student accused of 'supporting terrorism' for quoting Mahmoud Darwish

Late Palestinian poet and journalist Mahmoud Darwish gestures during his show in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, 15 July 2007 [GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images]
Late Palestinian poet and journalist Mahmoud Darwish gestures during his show in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, 15 July 2007 [GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images]

Ben-Gurion University has postponed the disciplinary hearing of a Palestinian student, who was accused of "supporting terrorism" after using the term 'martyr' at a memorial event to mark Nakba Day.

The student, Watan Madi, used the term while quoting Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish, during a speech that concluded the line: "We will not forget the martyrs who fulfilled the unity of the country, the people and history."

Zionist NGO, Im Tirtzu, accused the student of "behaviour that involves disobedience or refusal to obey the instructions of the authorities".

According to its complaint letter, it added that "the use of the word martyrs while waving Palestinian flags during the vigil reinforces the claim that Madi expressed support for terrorism".

Madi rejected the claims and said she will continue her fight against racism and extremism.

READ: Pro-Palestine chairman of UK football club slaps down pro-Israel group over 'intimidation'

"Simply, Im Tirtso is a fascist movement that pursues left-wing activists in various universities, and we on the student front are victims of these despicable persecutions," she said.

"We will remain the dam in the face of the fascist right, and we will not deviate from the path of struggle, no matter how intensified their fragile policies of terror."

The indefinite postponement comes after a group of 120 faculty members at the Israeli University sent a letter to the University's Chief Administrator, Mira Golomb, stating that "faculty members from the relevant fields can attest the meaning of the word in Arabic is 'martyrs' or 'fallen', and not terrorists or suicide bombers."

"We hope that the University aspires to be an academic home for all students, faculty and employees. Therefore, the University should relate to their cultures, identities and native languages in light of their own viewpoints – and not through the perspective of organisations that undermine the legitimacy of varied viewpoints," the letter concluded.

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