19 March 2024

The Dean of the School of Social Work and Social Welfare has contrived a new justification for suspending Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian (photo), a professor in the School. The Dean evidently imagines that this gets around the objection of interference with free speech, but justification is so transparently thin, it merely exposes his lack of self-awareness. Here is the Haaretz report:

Dean of Professor Suspended From Hebrew University Opposes Her Return if She Doesn’t Recant – Israel News – Haaretz.com

The dean of a professor who was suspended for comments she made regarding October 7 said he opposes her return to teaching unless she recants.

Prof. Asher Ben-Arieh, dean of the School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, took this position in a statement he sent to faculty members regarding the suspension of Prof. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian and what she said in an interview two weeks ago.

  • With all due respect to the Zionist University
  • Should an Israeli university fire an academic who said Hamas atrocities are ‘lies’?
  • Don’t let right-wing informants from Im Tirtzu take over Israel’s universities

He declared in the announcement that without regard to a decision by the university administration regarding Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian, his decision “is not because of such political statements, nor is it because of disciplinary or regulatory or other infractions.”

Rather, he said, the reason was for one central reason – her denial of cases of rape and murder of civilians, women and children on October 7, in complete opposition to professional values of social work that oblige everyone to stand by the victims.

Ben-Arieh added: “Even if I believe that here too she crossed the line and said things that constitute incitement – my position here is as good as any other position, and it is not for me to decide, rather the bodies and authorities with the requisite authorization. The decision is ethical and academic because of denial of the events of October 7, which, as dean of the school, I cannot ignore.”

The dean added that he hoped that Shalhoub-Kevorkian would recant and “announce that she admits that there were cases of rape and murder of innocent women and children.” He noted, “Such an admission would lead to immediate cancelation of my decision and her return to teaching.”

If she wouldn’t do so, Ben-Arieh declared that she would not return to the school. He wrote to the faculty that he believes that he has the authority to make such a decision, but that he would bring it as well to the council of the social work school.

Shalhoub-Kevorkian said in the Makdisi Street podcast that Israel is committing genocide in the Gaza Strip. She also cast doubt that there was sexual violence on October 7.

“There is so much love in Palestine” w/ Nadera Shalhoub-KevorkianThe brothers talk with Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian about life under occupation in East Jerusalem and the affirmation of life and love at the heart of the Palestinian struggle for freedom. pic.twitter.com/egweIHQC5v

— Makdisi Street (@MakdisiStreet) March 9, 2024

She added, “Zionism is a crime, and only through its cancelation/erasure will we be able to continue.” The university administration announced her temporary suspension from teaching by arguing that “her statements take freedom of expression and academic freedom to an extreme and make cynical use of them, to the point of division and incitement.”