Arab and Jewish students seen at the campus of "Mount Scopus" at Hebrew University on the first day of the new academic year. (Miriam Alster/Flash90) (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Jewish and Arab students

Itai Haetzni, a Zionist activist on campus, gave a razor-sharp response to an Arab Hebrew University student who protested the scheduling of Student Day to coincide with the celebration of the reunification of Jerusalem.

Recently, an Arab student questioned the Hebrew University Student Association, protesting the fact that Student Day coincides each year with Jerusalem Day, when the Israeli nation celebrates the reunification of the eternal capital during the 1967 Six Day War.

In fact, on Wednesday the university’s student union voted with an overwhelming majority in favor of keeping the date.

The questions posed by the Arab student as well as an astute response, given by student Itai Haetzni, were posted widely on the Internet.

“I am part of a group of students who are active on Zionist and pro-Israel issues,” Haetzni, 27, told United with Israel. A student of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at IDC Herzliya, he explained that a friend at Hebrew University had seen the post by the Arab student and commented on it, inviting others to join in on the conversation. “So I did. It started as a comment, and when it gained popularity. I posted it [on social media].”

The Arab student who objected to the Student Day timing wrote the following questions to the student association:

As an Arab student, who pays 400 shekels at the start of each year, I would like to ask you: Why does the Student Association hold its Student Day on the day Jerusalem was conquered?

Why should the Student Association ignore the Arab students, who constitute a sizable percentage of the students of Hebrew University?

Why should that Association indirectly prevent them – knowing they cannot celebrate on that date – from taking part in the largest, most heavily funded event of the school year, an event that should be intended for all students, and one which every student should be able to attend without hesitation…?

Arab Students Should Rejoice

Haetzni’s response:

Ya Sahbi [Arabic for “Dear buddy”]! Student Day is celebrated precisely on the anniversary of Jerusalem’s liberation from Moslem conquest very intentionally!

And if there is anyone who has to rejoice, it is you and your friends, the University’s Arab students, and I shall explain briefly why.

Had you not been liberated from the yoke of the Jordanian conquest, you, in all likelihood would have been downtrodden, impoverished, uneducated, and perhaps would have found yourself decapitated as well – Al Qaeda and ISIS-style.

You don’t have to like it, but listen, sweetheart: Your life under Israel’s “occupation” is better than it would be under any other regime in the Middle East.

In Syria, you’d be slaughtered in battle, through bombings or poison gas.

In Lebanon, you’d be drafted into Hezbollah and killed in its service or oppressed/killed in a civil war.

Jewish and Arab students

Arab and Jewish students seen at the campus of “Mount Scopus” at Hebrew University on the first day of the new academic year. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

In Iraq, your head would be chopped off.

In Yemen, you’d be shot in the street.

In Egypt, you’d be violently liquidated by the police, the Salafists or the Moslem Brotherhood.

Apparently, even if you lived in Jordan (you certainly wouldn’t want to live in any other country I mentioned), you’d be dirt poor and uneducated.

Perhaps you’d be living in the Cairo cemetery in Egypt, in a mud hut in northern Jordan, or in a destroyed refugee camp outside Damascus

Your dignity would be crushed, your rights trampled, yet – without a doubt – you would be “independent” and “not occupied.”

How lucky for you!

After all, what does it matter if someone chops off your head, humiliates your wife, steals your money or forces you to live a certain way?

The main thing is that you are living under an “independent Arab” regime, and not – G-d forbid – under the rule of those murderous Jews… So, the Day of Jerusalem’s Liberation is, more than anything else, your holiday, pal.

Thanks to “Calamity Day” [the Israeli Arab name for Israel Independence Day] and “Defeat Day” [the Israeli Arab name for Jerusalem Day], you can read and write, use the Internet and buy what you want, just like in any other Western country.

You can express your opinion in public, without fear of being arrested or killed. You can choose to be religious or irreligious, as you wish. You can study in university what you want, at the State of Israel’s expense, and enjoy Israeli social security; running water; reliable electricity and a feeling of genuine personal security.

You needn’t fear that a government clerk will break into your house and demand a bribe, or rape your wife.

‘This is Your Holiday, Habibi’

Even if you commit a crime, no one’s going to cut off your hand, stone you or hang you.

This is your holiday, habibi, and the University celebrates Student Day especially for you.

Sure, we Jews are celebrating the return to our historic homeland, a national celebration without a doubt.

But you? You’re celebrating your own private celebration simultaneous to the general celebration.

You’ve won a better life for yourself, when the alternative was to drown in the morass of thick blood that all the other countries of the Middle East are drowning in.

Mazel tov, man!

By: United with Israel Staff