Lettre de la SEMOMM contre l’arrestation de Nadera Shalhoub Kevorkian de l’Université hébraïque


Paris, 19th of April 2024


Dear Professors Cohen, Sheafer, and Ben Arieh,

SEMOMM was established in 2014. It is the leading French organisation devoted to the scholarly study of the Middle East and North Africa. SEMOMM is strongly concerned by the threats against academic freedom and works to prevent governmental actions of censorship and restriction of research independence, on mobility, prosecution, and extrajudicial imprisonment and elimination of individuals on the basis of their scholarly activity. It is within our institutional remit therefore that we take urgent action in relation to the legal persecution of Hebrew University Professor and internationally renowned feminist scholar Nadera ShalhoubKevorkian.


Around 5 pm on Thursday, April 18, 2024, Hebrew University professor and internationally renowned feminist scholar Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian was arrested by Israeli police at her home in the Old City of Jerusalem on the charge of incitement to violence. The police raided and searched her home and subjected her to a harsh and dehumanizing interrogation. Her lawyer
said the charges against her were serious. She was released the following day as the judge was ‘unconvinced’ she’s dangerous. Most importantly, the international mobilization as well as her Palestinian and Israeli colleagues protests led to her release and to the Hebrew University to issue a statement on Thursday condemning Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s arrest. However, this hasn’t ended the Kafkaesque situation; quite the opposite, threats of arrest of the Professor by the Israeli police are still very real.

Palestinians in Israeli detention suffer physical, emotional, and mental violence. Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian, who holds both Israeli and U.S. citizenship, has been subjected to violent repression and harassment by the Hebrew University for speaking out against the ongoing genocide in Gaza. Furthermore, she was suspended from her teaching duties in March, though later reinstated once it became clear that there is no basis for the allegations
against her.

The attack against Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian is one on all Palestinian scholars, students, and activists who bring to light the violent and plausible genocidal nature of the Israeli state, which was on full view of the world during South Africa’s presentation at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). That presentation was sufficiently persuasive that the ICJ almost unanimously found in its provisional ruling on January 26, 2024 that Israel’s attack on Gaza is plausibly genocide. We thus recognize this as an attempt to silence critique of Israeli state violence in a context of a society infused with open genocidal incitement and discourse. In fact, the Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir welcomed the arrest and said that it “conveys an important message – whoever incites against the State of Israel, we will take action against them. They will not be able to hide behind their position or any other title.” This silencing and repression endangers not only Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian, but also the lives and education of students who study, write, and are part of her intellectual community in the Hebrew University and beyond.

We, as international academics, hold the Hebrew University of Jerusalem responsible for the arrest, the detention and the persecution of Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian because of its persistent and public repression of her academic freedom, which led directly to her arrest. We call on international scholars, activists, and people of conscience to demand the immediate end of judicial persecution against Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian, and for all charges against her to be dropped. We are outraged by this unlawful action, and we refuse the continuing violence the Israeli state and its institutions wage against the Palestinian people and those who stand for justice and freedom.


Eric Verdeil, President of the SEMOMM


On behalf of the SEMOMM’s bureau



Citer ce billet
Semomm (2024, 23 avril). Lettre de la SEMOMM contre l’arrestation de Nadera Shalhoub Kevorkian de l’Université hébraïque. SEMOMM. Consulté le 21 juin 2024, à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/w9gn

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