Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fwd:From IMTI (Im Tirzu CEO Matan Peleg) Update on recent controversy surrounding Hebrew U’s decision not to play the national anthem.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: מתן פלג <>
Date: Sun, May 21, 2017 at 3:48 PM
Subject: Update on recent controversy surrounding Hebrew U's decision not to play the national anthem.

Shalom Friends,


In light of the recent controversy surrounding Hebrew University's decision not to play "Hatikvah" at its graduation ceremony, I wanted to send you a timeline of events that reflect IMTI's ability to influence public discourse by utilizing its large student presence and high media profile to elicit action from decision makers.


1.       On May 16th, we received information from our student activists at Hebrew U that the University's Faculty of Humanities would not be playing "Hatikvah" at its graduation ceremony so as not to offend the "other side," meaning the Arab students.

2.       Despite fully understanding the issues at Hebrew U (where both IMTI's Director of Policy and I earned our master's degrees), even this was difficult to believe so we contacted the University ourselves and recorded the call.  

3.       The university worker confirmed our activists' report, and we passed on the recording to Army Radio, Israel's most popular radio station, which began its morning broadcast with the story.

4.       The story was immediately picked up by other media outlets and began to spread rapidly throughout the country.

5.       At the same time, our activists uploaded dozens of photos to social media holding signs that read "Bring back Hatikvah to Hebrew University."

6.       Within several hours, statements condemning the University's decision were issued by the Prime Minister, Speaker of the Knesset, Education Minister, Justice Minister, and numerous other high ranking political officials.

7.       I don't think it would be presumptuous to say that the whole country was in an uproar over this issue, and that Im Tirtzu received a tremendous amount of support.

8.       Despite all the public pressure and condemnations, the University insisted on NOT playing the national anthem.


Following the event, some people (including IMTI activists) felt that we did not succeed in our efforts as the University did not play "Hatikvah" at the ceremony. In my opinion, this could not be further from the truth. I believe that we won, and won big.


Allow me to explain: At the end of the day, Im Tirtzu is responsible for influencing public consciousness; for defending the Israeli society's belief in the Zionist idea and for combatting anti-Zionism and "BDS from within."

Not playing the national anthem so as not to "hurt the feelings of the Arabs" is a fundamentally post-Zionist idea that weakens the Israeli society's belief in the justness of Zionism. The tremendous mobilization of the Israeli public and government, which aligned with Im Tirtzu to combat this post-Zionist idea, sent a clear message: "Yes to the national anthem of the state. Yes to a Zionist identity. Yes to a Jewish and democratic state."

Given the constant propaganda, demoralization and cynicism that we see in the media, academia and culture concerning Israel's national symbols, the fact that the Israeli society and its elected officials stood together in support of "Hatikvah" is a very significant and meaningful act.

It is not surprising that Hebrew U insisted on omitting the anthem. We cannot force the post-Zionist elite to change, and that is one of the reasons that our mission is not to change them.  Rather, our mission is to replace them over time with a new generation that believes in the Zionist idea and its historic mission.

Only several hours after the story hit the news, when Hebrew U was under heavy criticism from both the Right and Left, did their spokesperson issue a precise and well-crafted statement with excuses as to why they were not playing "Hatikvah." This attempt to conceal the true reason for not playing the anthem only proves their hypocrisy. We do not believe them.

What we saw from this story was a tremendous vote of confidence by the people of Israel in the values that each and every one of us (supporters and activists) promote.

We are thankful to the Israeli public for trusting in us, and it is something that we do not take for granted.




ארץ ציון וירושלים
מתן פלג
מנכ"ל תנועת אם תרצו

For Zion
Matan Peleg
Im Tirtzu – Building the Zionist Dream


Robin Ticker

Israel Advocacy Calendar (
Activist emails sent to my list  are L'Ilui Nishmat Yisrael ben David Aryeh ob"m (Izzy - Kaplan) and Howard Chaim Grief great activists and lovers of Eretz Yisroel, Am Yisroel and the Torah. Yehi Zichronum Baruch.  May their memories serve as a blessing. 

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Personal emails to individuals will not be posted to my blog. 
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