Hebrew University professor arrested on suspicion of incitement for questioning Hamas Oct. 7 atrocities

Gavriel Fiske is a reporter at The Times of Israel

Students at Hebrew University in Jerusalem protesting against Prof. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian on March 17, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Students at Hebrew University in Jerusalem protesting against Prof. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian on March 17, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

An Arab Israeli professor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been arrested on suspicion of incitement after questioning Hamas rapes and other atrocities during the October 7 attacks and saying Israelis are “criminals” and “should be afraid.”

Officers bring in Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, a criminologist and law professor, for questioning at a police station in the Jerusalem suburb of Mevasseret Zion.

Shalhoub-Kevorkian, a senior lecturer at the university, was first suspended after appearing in 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.

Hadash MK Ofer Cassif sharply criticizes Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s investigation, saying police “arrested Shalhoub-Kevorkian solely because of her statements. So that there is no doubt: Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian did not deny the [October 7] massacre and did not question the atrocities committed by Hamas (and even if she did, there’s nothing criminal about that). Her statement that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza is a legitimate statement, and would only be considered forbidden in a dictatorial regime.”

Elchanan Felhaimer, the chair of the National Union of Israeli Students, welcomes the arrest and says he hoped it will influence how academics express themselves on hot-button issues.

“Students throughout Israel led by the National Union of Israeli Students have been crying out for a long time to stop the incitement. It’s the appropriate thing that in our home we know how to deal [with such incitement] in the right way so as to eradicate this disgusting phenomenon,” Felhaimer says.

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