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Palestinian professor suspended from Hebrew University for advocating abolition of Zionism

March 14, 2024 at 5:11 pm

View from the Mount Zion area of Jerusalem toward Hebrew University on Mount Scopus (it is the hill in the distance and includes the tower). In the foreground on the left is the Dome of the Rock. [stock photo via Getty Images]

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has suspended a prominent Palestinian professor following her remarks calling for the abolition of Zionism. Law Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian made her comments in an interview with Israel’s Channel 12.

“Zionism can’t continue, it’s criminal,” said Shalhoub-Kevorkian. “Only by abolishing Zionism can we continue [and make progress].”

Referring to Israeli allegations of crimes committed by Hamas on 7 October she added: “They will use any lie. They started with babies, they continued with rape, and they will continue with a million other lies. We stopped believing them. I hope the world stops believing them.”

Shalhoub-Kevorkian signed a letter in October alongside more than 1,000 academics around the world, accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza and calling for an end to apartheid and Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

READ: European academics condemn Israel’s destruction of education system in Gaza

The Hebrew University announced on Tuesday that it had formally addressed the academic, expressing strong condemnation for her support of a petition denouncing Israel’s actions in Gaza as genocidal and labelling it as an occupying force since 1948. The university recommended her resignation, but, according to its statement, she persisted in making “divisive comments” which, said the university, brought “embarrassment to our esteemed institution both nationally and internationally.”

The university described itself as a “proud Israeli, public and Zionist institution” in its “strong” condemnation of Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s “shocking and outrageous” statements. “To ensure a safe and conducive environment for our students on campus, the university has decided to suspend Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian from teaching activities, effective immediately.”

In response, Shalhoub-Kevorkian said that the university’s letter “fuelled an incitement campaign that included dangerous and unprecedented threats” against her and her family.

Haaretz reported that Shalhoub-Kevorkian has taught several classes during the current academic year in the Humanities Faculty and in the Social Work Department.

Israel stands accused of genocide by South Africa at the International Court of Justice. An interim ICJ ruling in January ordered the Zionist state to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza. The South African government believes that Israel is not implementing the ICJ ruling.

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