13 March 2024

Professor Uri Pine, a specialist in Chinese history at the Hebrew University has vigorously objected to the University president’s deplorable attack on fellow academic, Nadra Shalhoub-Kevorkian, for denouncing Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza. Here is the Haaretz.com:

Professor Uri Pines Announces His Resignation From His Position At The Hebrew University Due To The Suspension Of Lecturer Nadra Shalhoub-Kevorkian.


Professor Uri Pines, a historian specializing in the history of China and a lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, sent a letter to the university administration declaring his denunciation of the suspension of lecturer Nadra Shalhoub-Kevorkian due to her political stance, and declaring his refusal to carry out any work at the university related to its representation in Israel or abroad. Resigning from his position as director of the Confucius Institute at the Hebrew University.

He wrote in his letter: “The content of the vile letter about the dismissal of Nadra Shalhoub-Kevorkian surprised me. I never thought that the Hebrew University was a Zionist institution: I saw it as an academic institution, in which Zionists and non-Zionists, as well as anti-Zionist people like me, could work. And I thought that the university was led by People who are rational enough to understand that the issue of whether Israel is committing genocide in Gaza belongs to the field where students and lecturers can freely express their opinion. I have not heard of a lecturer being suspended because of his political stance.”

He added: “It seems that I made a mistake in my assessment of the university and its presidents, and therefore I bear responsibility, and hereby declare my refusal to carry out any work at the university related to its representation in Israel or abroad, and to resign from my position as director of the Confucius Institute at the university, and I will not accept any other position for myself in the future.” “You have insulted this institution. I have never felt so insulted.”

It is noteworthy that Pines was active when he was a student in the Communist Party of Israel and worked as a center for the activity of the leftist organization “Campus.” He was imprisoned several times for refusing military service in the occupied territories and for refusing military service in Lebanon, the first time in 1983-1984 and the second time in 1989-1990.

Today, Tuesday, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem suspended the work of Professor Nadra Shalhoub-Kevorkian, a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, after she criticized the aggression on Gaza and signed a petition accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza. This decision is considered a precedent, and within the approach of Israeli universities in Its implementation of the policy of gagging mouths and suppressing freedoms.

The university had offered Professor Shalhoub Kevorkian to resign from her position, due to her clear position of rejecting the war of genocide on the Gaza Strip, but she rejected the university’s request and emphasized its positions against the Israeli occupation and aggression. Kevorkian later signed a petition condemning Israeli crimes.

The Hebrew University claimed in a statement, “Kvorkian’s statements take freedom of expression and academic freedom to the extreme, and use them sarcastically for incitement.”