Israeli police arrested internationally renowned Palestinian feminist academic Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian at her home in Jerusalem on Thursday on charges of inciting violence.

Shalhoub-Kevorkian, who holds Israeli and U.S. citizenship, was suspended by Hebrew University last month after saying in an interview that Israel was committing genocide in Gaza, although the university later reinstated her.

Democracy Now spoke with anthropologist Sarah Ihmoud, who describes Shalhoub-Kevorkian as a mentor and inspiration to her and many others. “We hold the Hebrew University of Jerusalem responsible for the arrest and detention due to its persistent and public crackdown on its academic freedom, which directly led to yesterday’s arrest,” says Ihmoud, who teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and is a co-founder. of the Palestinian Feminist Collective. “We see this as yet another example of Israel attacking Palestinians wherever they are, whoever they are. It underscores that no Palestinian is safe under Israel’s racist apartheid regime.”


AMY GOODMAN : Amid the crackdown on pro-Palestinian voices on campuses from coast to coast in the United States, we begin today’s program in Israel, where police arrested internationally renowned Palestinian feminist professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian in her Jerusalem home on Thursday. fair on charges of inciting violence. The professor has Israeli and North American citizenship. She was suspended by Hebrew University last month after saying in an interview that Israel was committing genocide in Gaza. But then the university reinstated her. She talked about the Democracy Now in March, after his suspension.

NADERA SHALHOUB – KEVORKIAN : The question remains whether what is teachable, what is what should be written, what is publishable, what is what we can talk about as scholars who study state criminality, as opposing what is happening, as opposing the what the state is doing is not accepted, so they expel us from the university. And this is the same policy that the State of Israel is pursuing abroad. So, it’s silencing. It’s stopping people from talking. It’s threatening. It’s punitive. And it is also done in a very degrading and undignified way. Calling my students the day before the end of the first semester and telling me: “You are suspended” goes beyond any expectation. But this is – and underlining that it is a Zionist institution. “You can’t follow these rules, you’re out.”

My only concern, Amy, today is the safety of the students, the safety of my students, Jews and Palestinians, who oppose genocide, who oppose war, who refuse to see the ongoing, ongoing atrocities. My real concern is the silencing of dissent around the world, because we see it in academic institutions. The question: if we think that academic institutions should function in accordance with and under the orders of the State, I don’t know why we have academic institutions. Academia and research require us to pay attention to details, to what is happening in the lives of women, men and children. And I’m really worried today. And, of course, I must state clearly that the university’s behavior is behavior that threatens the safety of our students, the safety of colleagues who speak out against genocide, and my own personal safety as a person living in Jerusalem. and the safety of my family.

AMY GOODMAN : That was last month. Following Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s arrest on Thursday, more than a hundred professors around the world released a statement calling for her immediate release, calling her arrest an attack, among other words, “on all academics, Palestinian students and activists who bring violence and violence to light.” genocidal nature of the Israeli state,” they wrote.

Today, Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian had a hearing, where a judge ordered her release. But she was not released, as the Israeli government reportedly appealed.

To learn more, we’re joined by Sarah Ihmoud, a Chicano-Palestinian anthropologist and assistant professor of anthropology and peace and conflict studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is the founder of the Palestinian Feminist Collective. Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian is her mentor.

Welcome to Democracy Now! , Professor Ihmoud. If you could start by telling us the news? We spoke to her when she was in London after being suspended by Hebrew University. They then readmitted her, she returned home to Israel and has now been arrested. What did you hear about this hearing and why was she arrested?

Sarah IHMOUD: Thanks for having me, Amy, and thanks for shining a light on the case of Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian, who, as you noted, is an internationally renowned feminist academic and human rights activist who has worked to bring attention to the plight of women and Palestinian children under Israeli military occupation for the past three decades.

From what we know, Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian was violently arrested at her home in the Armenian neighborhood of Jerusalem’s old city yesterday at around 5pm. The police raided her house and confiscated her belongings, including her laptop, some books, as I understand it, as well as a poster of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.

Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian, as mentioned, was subject to violent repression and harassment by the Hebrew University for speaking out against the ongoing genocide in Gaza. And she was suspended from her teaching duties in March, though later reinstated when it became clear there was no basis for the allegations against her. Ultimately, we hold the Hebrew University of Jerusalem responsible for his arrest and detention due to its persistent and public repression of his academic freedom, which directly led to yesterday’s arrest.

And we see this as yet another example of Israel attacking Palestinians wherever they are, whoever they are. It emphasizes that no Palestinian is safe under Israel’s racist apartheid regime, not even someone like Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian, who is an Israeli and American citizen and a respected, world-renowned feminist scholar. And it is also important to note that Israel routinely holds Palestinians captive and imprisons them without trial, without due process and in inhumane conditions, including children, and that this is both unjust and illegal. And this is an attack on her, both as a Palestinian and as an academic, who rightly speaks out against the well-documented human rights violations and ongoing genocide in Israel.

So, as far as we know, the Jerusalem court magistrate ordered his release on condition of a bail of 20,000 shekels. However, the court, the state – the state and the police are appealing and have taken her to the central court, where they are still holding her. Therefore, we are still waiting for more details on whether she will be released or whether the State will continue to detain her.

AMY GOODMAN : Can you talk about how you met you, Professor Sarah Ihmoud?

Sarah IHMOUD: Clear. Thank you, Amen. I have known Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian for over a decade. I met her in occupied East Jerusalem when I was a graduate student beginning to work on my PhD. dissertation research. And she has become one of my dearest friends and mentors over the last decade. She is someone who really opened my eyes, and many around the world, to the intimacies of Israeli settler violence and repression in occupied East Jerusalem and throughout the Palestinian territory.

Her work has focused specifically on the plight of women, how patriarchy and colonialism intersect to shape women’s lives, and what justice looks like for Palestinian women. And her work has also really taken on a central imperative to understand the conditions of Palestinian children and to denounce the persistent human rights violations of Palestinian children in occupied territory. She is the scholar who founded the concept of the non-child to help us better understand, as scholars around the world interested in children’s rights, how colonial colonial states typically shape the lives and limit the futures of children, indigenous children and racialized children around the world. globe. Therefore, her work has been absolutely groundbreaking and important not only in the Palestinian context, but in global contexts where populations face racialized and gendered repression and violence.

And she has been a beloved mentor to many, including me. And she has always centered love in the way she cares for her students, for the scholars in her community. And she continues to center this ethic and method of love in the work she does in the community and with her students at Hebrew University and beyond.

AMY GOODMAN : In addition to being a professor at Hebrew University, she also taught at Queen Mary University in London. We spoke to her in London. Another professor there is Neve Gordon, the Israeli scholar, who we also interviewed recently. He just tweeted, the judge – “Nadera hearing: From the judge to the police: I can understand that you wanted the arrest to carry out searches, but so far you have found nothing to justify the arrest and I have not received any other explanation. The pages you found are an expression of opinion,” said the judge. As we close, Professor Ihmoud, what does this mean and why do you think she is being targeted now?

Sarah IHMOUD: Absolutely. Thanks. I think, you know, it’s important to emphasize the absurdity of her description by the police as dangerous. And yet this follows a history of Palestinians, in general, and Palestinian women, in particular, being portrayed as a dangerous threat to Israeli security. Obviously, we see how the entire population of Gaza has been dehumanized, and this has provided the pretext for Israel’s continued genocidal attack on the entire civilian population of the Gaza Strip. And of course Israel sees Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian as dangerous, because her work over the last few decades exposes exactly the opposite, of course – that is, the humanity of the Palestinian people in the face of the inhumanity of the Israeli state in its quest to continue to occupy, terrorizing and brutalizing the Palestinian people and repressing our liberation movement.

We therefore call on international scholars, activists and people of conscience around the world to continue to maintain pressure for her immediate release and for all charges against her to be dropped. We are outraged by this illegal action and refuse the continued silence and violence by the Israeli State and its institutions against the Palestinian people and against those, like Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian, who continue to be a voice of light and love, defending the Justice. and liberation. Once again, Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian has always focused on her love for her people, the safety and protection of her students. And it is important that we follow in her footsteps on the path that she has followed and led us in embodying hope and the need to continue to speak out against the ongoing genocidal violence in Israel.

AMY GOODMAN : Sarah Ihmoud, we want to thank you for being with us, Chicana Palestinian anthropologist, assistant professor of anthropology and peace and conflict studies at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where she is speaking to us from. She is the founder of the Palestinian Feminist Collective. Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian was arrested Thursday in Jerusalem, at her home.

Published by Democracy Now, on April 19, 2024.


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