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Call for the immediate release of Prof. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian and the termination of the investigation against her

The arrest for purposes of questioning of Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian is a blatant fascist move, in which the police have been recruited to muzzle and silence criticism. The arrest and the questioning follow decisions by the Hebrew University administration to suspend Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian from teaching, as well as harsh statements by the university against her. Although the university has lifted the suspension, in a society in which the government is not obligated to protect freedom of expression and academic values, and right-wing organizations act as an arm of the government to intimidate the Palestinian minority and silence all criticism, it is clear that the attack by the Hebrew University administration on Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian painted a target on her back. The harm is particularly severe when it is directed at a member of a minority group.

Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian's remarks do not contain the slightest incitement, threat, support for terrorism or racism, or denial of the October 7 massacre. They present a critical perspective on Israel's conduct in the current war, and point to the constant need for the factual substantiation of claims. Freedom of expression and research is the lifeblood of academia, which has no right to exist without it.

As faculty members and members of the academic community, we demand the following:

  • The Hebrew University administration must clarify explicitly that it opposes the investigation and arrest of Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian and anyone else for non-violent and non-inciteful speech, and demand her release.

  • The police must release Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian immediately and terminate the investigation against her.

  • The Attorney General must order the police to terminate the investigation.

We call on the academic staff organizations to join these demands.

If Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian's persecution continues, none of us will be safe.

Freedom of expression and research, the possibility of public discourse and the pursuit of truth, are all under real threat.

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