Israel Police Arrest Palestinian Academic on Suspicion of Incitement to Terror

17:00 Apr 18 2024 Jerusalem

Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian. Published by Haaretz

Demonstrators protest in support of Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian who was arrested on suspicion of incitement, outside the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, April 19, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90) Published by The Times of Israel (TOI)

Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian was taken to a police station near Jerusalem and investigated. 'This is an illegal arrest whose purpose is to intimidate any critical voices in the Israeli academy,' her attorneys said

by Jack Khoury, Josh Breiner and Nir Hasson for Haaretz
Apr 18, 2024

A Palestinian academic at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, who raised doubts about sexual assault incidents involving Hamas terrorists on October 7, was arrested by the Israel Police.

Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian was brought to a police station near Jerusalem and is suspected of incitement to terror, violence, and racism. Her attorneys added that the police confiscated a mobile phone, a computer documents and books of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish from her apartment.

Shalhoub-Kevorkian was suspended from teaching early in March following pressure from students, right-wing activists and politicians, for comments she made in an interview on the "Makdisi Street" podcast.

The university reinstated her after she clarified that she does not doubt that sexual assaults took place during Hamas' attack.

In a segment on the podcast devoted to October 7, Shalhoub-Kevorkian said that "The creation of stories, the exaggeration, were done in order to portray the Palestinians as terrible… Sexual violence is a thing that happens, and I oppose it… If a woman says she was raped, I believe her. But we're not seeing [after October 7] a woman who came out and said what happened to her."

"This is an illegal arrest whose purpose is to intimidate and harm any critical voices in the Israeli academy," said her attorneys Mahajana and Hassan Jabarin.

"Behind the police's agenda is a racist and inciting minister. The more important question is whether the State Prosecutor approved this type of investigation and arrest." Israel's State Prosecutor's Office said in response that they have indeed approved the investigation.

Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir praised the arrest, saying he "congratulates" for detaining the "professor who incited against the State of Israel."

According to him, the apprehension "sends the significant message that those who incite against Israel will not be able to hide under such titles or roles."

Arab-Israeli lawmaker Ahmad Tibi responded said that "the settlers who murdered two Palestinians aren't being investigated; the rabbis who incite to murder Arabs are embraced."

"Those who paved the way for this investigation are the shameful and cowardly administration of the Hebrew University," he added.

Court releases Hebrew U. professor held for incitement, call her arrest unjustified

University slams arrest of Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian for month-old comments questioning Hamas atrocities on Oct. 7; judge ‘unconvinced’ she’s dangerous

Today [April 19, 2024], 4:51 pm

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Friday ordered the release of Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, an Arab Israeli professor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who was arrested the day before on suspicion of incitement.

The court rejected a police request to extend the professor’s remand, according to Hebrew media reports, saying that the police’s own findings did not justify the arrest.

During the discussion, demonstrators assembled outside the courthouse to protest Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s arrest.

“There are some expressions that may have crossed the line from free expression to incitement,” wrote Judge Dov Pollock in the ruling. “And yet, the question before the court is whether it is necessary to prolong her arrest on the suspicion that she poses a danger.”

“I am unconvinced there is a need to continue her incarceration,” concluded the judge.

An unnamed police source who disagreed with the judge’s impression was quoted by the Walla news site as claiming that “the Protocols of the Elders of Zion pale in comparison with the suspect’s libels,” referring to an infamous early-20th century antisemitic tract.

“Nadera is very dangerous to the public, incitement-wise, because she justifies harming Israelis, soldiers, hostages, including women and children,” said the source, claiming that the scholar’s failure to retract her comments over the past month was evidence that she was willing “to do everything… to help [Hamas] in the war against Israel.”

The Hebrew University had on Thursday issued a statement condemning Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s arrest.

“The university is sharply opposed to many of the things that Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian said a month ago,” read the statement.

“Nonetheless, we are extremely concerned about her arrest, if it is indeed based on the things she had said publicly,” it continued, saying the arrest was contrary to the country’s democratic nature.

“We call for the immediate release of Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian.”

A senior lecturer at the university, Shalhoub-Kevorkian was first suspended in March after a March 9 interview with the podcast Makdisi Street, in which she said Zionism should be abolished and called into question the rapes and other atrocities committed by Hamas.

She said Israelis act afraid when they walk by and hear her speaking in Arabic, “and they should be afraid because criminals are always afraid. They cannot dispossess my land, they cannot displace my people. They cannot kill and not be afraid, so they better be afraid.”

She continued, “It’s time to abolish Zionism. It can’t continue, it’s criminal. Only by abolishing Zionism can we continue.”
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