Palestinians Condemn Arrest of Prof. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Call for Escalating Academic Boycott Campaigns

The internationally renowned Palestinian feminist scholar was arrested by Israeli forces in occupied Jerusalem. 

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) strongly condemns the shameful arrest of Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian by Israeli forces in occupied Jerusalem.  

Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian is an internationally renowned Palestinian feminist scholar whose work focuses on gendered violence and violence against children, in particular in the context of Israeli settler colonialism.

Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian had previously been unjustly suspended by Hebrew University following a month’s long public smear campaign by the university for having urged an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and describing Israel’s military assault against Palestinians in Gaza as genocide.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has found that Israel is plausibly committing genocide. Hundreds of international law scholars have described Israel’s carnage as amounting to genocide.

A petition in support of Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian and Palestinian rights, that has been signed by nearly 900 hundred scholars worldwide, called for an academic boycott of Hebrew University until it “ends its decades-long complicity in Israeli occupation and system of apartheid, retracts both letters against Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian, issues a detailed apology, [and] asserts the significance of academic freedom …” The university reinstated her this month, apparently under pressure from the global pressure campaign, but has yet to meet the demand to end its complicity in Israeli apartheid.

As many scholars warned at the time, Hebrew University’s unjust suspension of and smear campaign against Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian not only violated her rights to academic freedom and freedom of expression, it also put her in danger. This arrest clearly shows they were right.

Israel’s ongoing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza includes scholasticide or the “killing of learning.” Thousands of students, professors and teachers are among the more than 33,000 Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza.

Israel has damaged or destroyed all universities in Gaza, in some cases by placing explosives in empty campus buildings after occupying them as military bases and detention centers. It has also destroyed hundreds of Palestinian schools. These are direct attacks on Palestinian education.

Israeli universities, including Hebrew University, which is partially built on occupied Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, have long played an active role in Israel’s apartheid regime and are now complicit in its genocide.

Israeli universities have provided material support to Israeli military units, crowdfunded “care” packages for Israeli soldiers in Gaza, helped “make” Israel’s propaganda-ridden case before the ICJ, and helped create an AI-driven “army of robots” [sic]  to spread propaganda.

As Israel continues to openly defy the International Court of Justice and the UN Security Council, it is more urgent than ever to do everything in their power to stop the genocide and defend academic freedom.

We urge all international scholars, academic societies, faculty unions, university programs and departments to urgently call for Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian's immediate release and to implement or escalate campaigns to boycott all complicit Israel academic institutions, including Hebrew University.


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