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The Haifa student who waved the Israeli flag at the graduation ceremony in Berkeley: "I am in hell on earth"

Or Ha'Meiri, 27 years old, a resident of Haifa, found himself as an ambassador on his own behalf at the University of Berkeley in California, where he studied until the last days (May 2024). This week (12-17.5.24) he went up to receive his graduation certificate from the School of Business Administration with the Israeli flag, and received many boos, which still did not prevent him from feeling that he did the right thing.

Light at the demonstration for the return of the abducted (photo: private album)
Light at the demonstration for the return of the abducted (photo: private album)

Demonstration in Berkeley ► Watch

What has changed in your opinion since the seven in October?

"I am a proud Zionist and have been all my life. Since October 7th I have felt 'it's either fall or get up and run'. From the moment the war broke out, I decided to become an activist on campus and walk with my head held high. I want to show that we are not afraid.

There are Jews on campus, but there are almost no Israelis here. I hold demonstrations with Jewish friends who study with me, and with older Israelis who live here. I decided to go into it with all my might and help as much as I could. I gave lectures to Palestinians or Israelis in synagogues, churches and halls. I also participated in debates. They fight in Israel, and I fight from here. I would enter demonstrations with the Israeli flag, shouting at them. There isn't a single pro-Palestinian here who doesn't know me."

Gilad Erdan and Or Ha'Meiri (photo: private album)
Gilad Erdan and Or Ha'Meiri (photo: private album)

How did you get to the meeting with Shirir Israel at the Gilad Erdan UN?

"I decided that I wanted to promote my activity, so I talked to Jewish and Israeli bodies, with the aim of reaching the highest positions. That's how I got to a meeting at the office of Israel's ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan. The meeting was on my spring break in March (2024). I wanted to explain to the ambassador what is happening on campus and what I feel here.

My goal in the whole story is for people to understand that the Israeli propaganda fails to clarify our position as it should. The general population here in the US that supports the Palestinians, they are the first that Hamas would slaughter, and they don't understand it. I wanted to explain it to Gilad Erdan and that was the purpose of the meeting."

"We met at the embassy offices in New York. Gilad Erdan is an amazing, humble person who speaks at eye level. He really wanted to hear my opinion. He wanted to hear about the situation, was happy to hear about my activities on campus, and I wanted to see what he and his employees were going to do. He agreed with me that Israeli advocacy is not at its best and that there is a lot of work to be done. He said that he would like to transfer larger budgets to advocacy, but it is not under his control."

"At the end of the meeting, he said he would stay in touch. The conversation with him, his pleasantness and motivation, gave me the strength to do more. When such a senior person tells me to continue what I'm doing, it gives me more strength to continue and do."

Israelis protest ► Watch

Can you describe what you go through on campus?

"It's hard to describe the hatred I receive. Even when I'm just passing through campus, people see me and spit. They curse me, attack me. The atmosphere here is very difficult. It just doesn't make sense, that something like this happens."

Or in front of a pro-Palestinian demonstration (photo: private album)
Or in front of a pro-Palestinian demonstration (photo: private album)

When you started your activity on campus, weren't you afraid that your studies might be affected?

"When the war broke out, I was depressed and had to steer my feelings to where it was. Over time, I got such hatred on campus that I didn't care if I was kicked out of school.

A month after October 7th, we went to hang signs about the abductees on campus - we hung over 500 signs. We hung the signs with very strong glue. The police caught me and I was charged with vandalism. When this happened, a Jewish attorney contacted me and said he wanted to represent me for free. It ended and the charges against me were dropped. There were cases of violence in which I was involved, when I had to protect the Jews who were with me. I was afraid that I would be thrown out of the university, but the desire to represent the The state was stronger than anything."

The song of hope at the demonstration ► Watch

Did you not come across any manifestations of anti-Semitism before the war broke out?

"Even before October 7, everyone knew I was Israeli. When I arrived at the university, I was categorized as Israeli, because there are no Israelis here in the Faculty of Business Administration. Everyone is labeled according to what characterizes him. From the moment I entered the classroom for the first few times, I started getting to know people, introducing myself and making connections. After October 7, you realize that people, with whom you were in contact, even if the relationship is not serious, do not want to say hello. They are simply anxious that someone will see that they spoke to an Israeli."

Raising the Israeli flag in Berkeley ► Watch

What happened at graduation?

"Graduation was a very emotional moment. I wasn't as excited about graduation as I was about holding the Israeli flag. There were two ceremonies. There was a big ceremony of the school, which was a whole Teddy stand with Palestinian flags. I'm sitting in the crowd, and next to people with the Palestinian flag and me With the Israeli flag, luckily, I'm a big guy, so even if they want to say something to me, they don't always say it."

"I study in a very exclusive program of the business school. I knew that when the business school ceremony was held, there would be much fewer students and my flag waving would be much more significant. Indeed, at this ceremony several people came up with the Palestinian flag. I was booed when I went up to receive the The certificate with the Israeli flag was very significant for me and nothing would make me give it up."

Were you not afraid of the violence that was directed towards you?

I am not afraid of anything. At the same time, we were faced with some violent incidents here. We teamed up with the Hillel and Chabad associations, and brought a speaker to speak on campus. We rented an auditorium from the university, a square space surrounded by glass walls. We were about 30-40 Jews there, and outside there were 400 pro-Palestinians.

You have to understand that because these events are so violent, some people are afraid to attend. Enter the room, and you feel like a monkey. Pro-Palestinians knock on the glass walls, shout, throw food.

Two Jews I know are standing outside the door, in the midst of the Palestinian crowd. They asked that we open the door for them, so that they could enter the hall and be with us. When I opened the door for them, the whole crowd came inside. From the other side of the hall, they broke a window with a stone and started entering through the window as well. I stand there in the hall with two other girls and try to protect them and me. The amount of people who attacked me was crazy. I stand there, getting punched and giving punches. In the end, there was no choice but to evacuate us through an underground parking lot."

Aren't you disappointed with the campus administration?

"Of course, disappointed and ashamed at the same time. I'm currently in Berkeley. There are still endless tents and signs on campus. I've thought a lot about whether I belong here. But I believe that if I leave the place, I'm letting them win. I'm sorry that I'm the one who has to deal with all the hate and violence This one, and at the same time it's me. It shows the true face of Israelis. I'm in hell on earth right now, but I have another chapter to finish in the US."

Do you think that we in Israel understand what is happening in the US?

"I follow the news in Israel and see what you see. You don't understand at all what is happening here on campus. What I am telling you is on the edge of a fork and should be multiplied by 100. When I lived in Israel it seemed so far away to me. It happens all the time and it is a thing Not caught. Berkeley is the number 1 public university in the US and Jews avoid coming here because of anti-Semitism, which is unbelievable."

Is antisemitism everywhere?

"It's everywhere. I went to Los Angeles to visit friends, I walk down the main avenue of Santa Monica - a demonstration, San Diego - the same. I went to Puerto Rico, an island far from everywhere, and there are demonstrations there. I came as a tourist and saw it."

Contact Chai here: At watsapBy email

Michal Grover
Michal Grover
Michal Grover Education reporter • Real estate • Company Contact: 054-4423911 Mail to the container: [email protected]

Articles related to this topic

108 תגובות

  1. Or you are Israeli pride.
    This is the right way to survive the madness going on in the world.
    Don't stop with color and light in all the surrounding blackness.

  2. Dear light - we all salute you 🌿💗🌿
    You and your friends, proudly guard the State of Israel, even in plain sight.
    The progressive left is violent, delusional and dangerous. Unfortunately, he deepens his foothold in the academy, in government systems, in the community and wherever he can.
    We are all obligated to oppose this anti-Semitic left.
    Greetings from the city of Haifa.
    Be strong and courageous !

  3. A true hero. Quite a characteristic of King David against the entire Goliath crowd. You need to take care of him and help him as much as possible.

  4. World champion, a really huge ass
    I'm sure you have a stunning mother who raised you with love and responsibility - you turned out just like her 😇 so come home with your degree ♥️

  5. Hi, My wife and I are back from a month long visit to many places in the US.
    Not on campuses.
    We did not encounter any manifestation of anti-Semitism, quite the opposite.
    Whenever they asked, I said we were from Israel and the responses were sympathetic.
    In my understanding, there are those who are deliberately working on campuses among a stupid population of young people who may be thinking about the US in Vietnam, agitating even for payment and certainly with terrible lies.
    In war as in war and in fire as in fire, you have to fight with aggressive means.
    I would assign an entire brigade of "undercover" to aggressive treatment for extracting those elements from the crowd and treating them appropriately in order to quell the irrational enthusiasm of spoiled American children who do not understand that the US is also in danger of Islamization.

  6. Ortel.
    I doubt if you are Jewish, and if you are, then go to hell, if on 7/10/23 the Hamas terrorists had caught you, be sure that they would not have asked you before the rape and murder if you were a leftist beautifying woman, they would have immediately raped you and slaughtered your throat like they butcher an animal. What else have you not understood here, what it is to fight for Jewish identity.
    We will lose the country only because of European leftist thinking, the "concept" our great disaster.

  7. Shabbat Shalom.

    Proud to be Jewish when I read the tireless stand of the heroic student, there are no words to describe the enormous test he faces alone. Only an Israeli Jew can be such a hero and brave.

    Blessed is the mother who has such a son

  8. Hero is not a word! You deserve a triple! For me as an Israeli Jew you represent me as well and you are a hero and a soldier of the people of Israel. The article gave me chills. You are amazing. You fight for every Jew in the past, present and future

  9. I am so proud of people like you, you stand your ground and don't give up, proudly waving the flag of your country.
    Just don't forget you have a country, you are not a refugee you have a home here in Israel

  10. Kudos to this guy!!! Man to the point. The purpose of jihad is to slaughter all whites of other religions. The white Europeans and Americans will understand this too little and too late….
    It was expected that after 9.11 the Americans would wake up.... But apparently they are too stupid and too busy with money and the pleasures of the moment....

  11. We need hundreds more like him!

    The lax Israeli government ignores and ignores the rampant anti-Semitism and hatred in the US in the traditional Jewish Diaspora hope that everything will pass.
    Waiting for the murders, when it will be too late.

    This is how you treat Kaplanist terrorism.

  12. A dear Jewish and Israeli man made without fear, a source of inspiration and pride. A young man with determination, adherence to a goal and a head held high above the anti-Semitic mob. Palestine is not a country, it is a false invention, it has been talked about a lot, there is no point in expanding it.
    well done!
    May God bless you and keep you, Amen.

  13. What are you waving the flags of a religious occupying country? Did you come to learn or to provoke? And you were also helped by Chabad religious missionaries. Don't be surprised, you and your Judaism are not of interest to people abroad

    • You piece of garbage, fly from here straight to Gaza and we'll take care of you there too, you filthy leftist.

    • "Dear" Ortel
      You are probably either stupid or opaque or both.
      There are people, and you are among them, who do not understand anything until it touches them.
      The words you wrote here and your attitude are an incurable disease. Sometimes it's better to shut up before someone shuts it up for you

    • He waves the flag of his only country. His homeland that was conquered and conquered by many peoples. And was returned by a majority vote (insolence in itself) - to his ancestors after they were almost destroyed from the face of the earth.

      And to all the commenters - if she is Arab - it's a waste of our time.
      But if she is Jewish - shame on the way you talk. This is how the Arabs defeat us. Our inner hatred.

  14. The progressive left, the media, which is financed with additional funding from the Muslim organizations, and the notorious Soros, have done deep plowing for decades. Who dismantled and reduced Israel's Information Ministry and Foreign Ministry, until they disappeared?

  15. I wonder what the future will bring, we already know what history looked like and if we click on the future, the western world will fall apart, and so the whole world...

  16. you are the best! rise and succeed! well done! May there be many like you. It is courage and daring to stand against a large army of ignorant but violent people.

  17. Many of these protests are sponsored. They all have the same signs, the same fonts, the same flags - in the same sizes. The funding sources need to be dried up. Anti-Semitism is a minor player and only ignorance and money are the cause. And as for Berkeley itself, if it is indeed a public body that benefits from federal funding, it would be useful to compile a list of violations of the regulations, which it is obligated to and file a lawsuit.

  18. Your light is yes. Isr Kach. I passed the 7/10 as a resident of Sderot and in addition my daughter was murdered here in Sderot and I want to say thank you that there are people like you who know and are not afraid to be proud that they are Jews and Israelis and every resident of Israel who supports Israel's position and does everything for our country..

  19. Kudos to you, Or Meiri, for your determination and courage.
    And the question arises, does the State of Israel have a diaspora minister, whose name is Shikri. Has anyone heard about him???

    • What does the Shikli do with the budget of his office as Minister of Diaspora? Is this the place to talk to the guy and ask what he needs to continue the fight??

    The USA is in terrible decline.
    Some understand this, and hope that their work will be successful. Of course, a lot of money is involved in riots!
    Qatar, Soros, and more.

  21. It is important to be precise
    There is no such thing as Palestine, and it is better to call their flag the PLO flag.
    These demonstrations are pro-Hamas and motivated by hatred of Israel only.

    • do you believe in yourself The absolute majority do not know, understand and are interested in what is happening. Some of them are funded, some are just putting out posters and the rest are Nazis who are Nazis. Don't be fooled and beautified with illusory definitions.

    • Teddy Bears, drinking Bilbul juice again?
      Anyone who goes to pro-Palestine demonstrations (some kind of lie) is surely anti-Semitic.. You probably didn't understand the article..

  22. You didn't just get your name Or
    . You are our light in this dark world
    And the weirdest thing is that even in the last name "Hamir"
    We could not get a better light than this in the world.
    All the best may God protect you
    You are the beauty of the Jewish people

  23. Good for you
    You are the pride of the people of Israel
    Take care of yourself
    Be strong and courageous
    We have no other country
    The advantage of the enemies is their number
    The advantage of the people of Israel is in the spirit
    Love you

  24. Kudos to the brave guy for his advocacy and desire to protect Israel and Jews.
    As he said, the American naïves were the first to be slaughtered by Hamas.
    The Palestinians are a problem for the Western world, they are fanatics, cruel and unwilling to respect any other religion

  25. They make an issue of the situation there (and rightfully so), but even in the educational institutions here there have been shocking cases:
    Arab students who celebrated the massacre, administrations who defended them, lecturers who sent letters to Biden to stop supporting Israel, protests in support of the Palestinians and more and for some reason this is completely justified according to the delusional media here

    • The most connected. It is better to be here fighting for our existence here than to fight in the wind farms there and put oneself in danger of life which is not insignificant but from here in Israel we are fighting for the house. Shame on him and the energies. It's better if we all help here together.

  26. There is no light on you my dear nephew I am proud of you king take care of yourself I am waiting for you next month when you arrive in Israel to give you a big hug 👑

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