The student rally at Al-Quds University was expected to include a ceremony to honor the best students at the Palestinian campus near Jerusalem, as well as Islamic music and a dramatization about student life. Instead, what occurred on Nov. 5 stunned officials at Brandeis University, prompting them to suspend the Waltham college’s long academic partnership with Al-Quds.
The Al-Quds students, clad in black, military-style uniforms and black masks, raised their arms in what appeared to be a Nazi salute. Banners with images of dead suicide bombers hung in the campus square.
A Brandeis University team that visited the Palestinian campus after the demonstration is asking Brandeis president Frederick M. Lawrence to reestablish ties with Al-Quds, saying that the Arab school’s leadership acted quickly and appropriately after the demonstration.
“Our clear impression from the five days we spent at Al-Quds University was of a leadership that was angry and appalled,” said the report, issued this week by three members of the Brandeis faculty who have long ties to the partnership, which has included faculty and student exchanges and academic development.
“Al-Quds University is playing a courageous front-line role in working for peace by engaging those minority factions in its midst that hold extreme attitudes,” the report said. “We call on Brandeis University to resume and indeed redouble its commitment to this scholarly partnership.”
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