Israeli university criticized for nixing national anthem

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli university's decision not to play the national anthem at a graduation ceremony has sparked outrage among senior government ministers.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem said the anthem won't be played at a Humanities Faculty event Thursday "out of consideration" for Arab participants.

Israel's Arab minority feels excluded by "Hatikva" ("The Hope") because of its emphasis on Jews' historic aspirations for statehood.

Hebrew University is a public institution that receives government funding. A similar move last year drew protest from faculty member and students.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett's office said he told the university president that as a public institution, it should respect the state that supports it.

The university rebuffed the criticism, saying there was no legal requirement to play the anthem at academic functions.