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Open Letter in Support of Professor Huda Fakhreddine

In 2019, the Germany parliament ruled the BDS movement “antisemitic”, ignoring a plead from over 240 Jewish and Israeli scholars not to equate support of Palestinian human rights with antisemitism.  Since then,  German policymakers and institutions have gradually increased pressure on Jewish, Muslim, and Christian critics of Israel, confusing critique of Israel’s occupation, transfer, and mass-killing, with antisemitism.

Especially after the Oct. 7th attack, some academic institutions have opened an intrusive and oppressive campaign, investigating private accounts and public expressions of peace activists and political critics. One such example is the recent case of Prof. Huda Fakhreddine, the co-organizer of the “Palestine writes literature festival” in Philadelphia and a scholar of Arab literature. During and after the festival Prof. Fakhreddine suffered harassment by her employer, the University of Pennsylvania, and by private and public organizations that insisted that the university should silence and sanction her. Direct threats were made against Dr. Fakhreddine and her family. This year, Prof. Fakhreddine was nominated as a candidate for the prestigious Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award. The Humboldt Foundation committee, which grants the award, asked the nominator to inquire about Prof. Fakhreddine political views on social media and to confront her about her private opinions. The committee removed her candidacy, without further explanations. 

A4E stands in solidarity with academic critics of the occupation and massacre, who are silenced and oppressed. We are alarmed by the complacent behavior of academic organizations in Germany, and their willingness to silence and censure legitimate expressions of critique against mass-violence.


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