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06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics


23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

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11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo


15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014


29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

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September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011



FFIPP-UK Newsletter, 7th December 2006

FFIPP-UK hasn’t really functioned since the end of the last academic year but a group of those responsible for organising the FEAR OF THE OTHER CONFERENCE  met recently and have decided to revive FFIPP activities in the UK. This newsletter is the first result.

This newsletter contains:

1. A report of a trip around Palestinian universities on the West Bank to set up a FFIPP-UK Books Project

2. Materials on the denial of residency rights to foreigners in Palestine and the devastating effect this is having on academic and professional work.

a) Appeal from the Presidents of ALL Palestinian Universities
b) The Right to Entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory Issue Statement
c) Statement and proposed actions by the Israeli Committee for Right of Residency
d) Further reading

3. Latest FFIPP-International Newsletter – go to and click on ‘Latest FFIPP-International Newsletter’ [or try ]

4. Ronit Lentin on the Treatment of an Israeli Academic at Ben Gurion airport on her way to an academic conference

5. For information on the next FFIPP delegation of international faculty and students to Palestine-Israel, 27th December – 7th January see


Please read the things you can do in item 2c) below.

The next newsletter will contain an update on Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions issues.

1. FFIPP-UK Books Project


In the week of 27th November to 1st December I visited some university campuses in Palestine: the Arab American University (Jenin), An-Najah (Nablus), Bir Zeit (Ramallah), Hebron and Bethlehem. I also went to the Jenin region of the Al Quds Open University (one of 17 regions in Palestine). Despite their invitation it was not possible for me to get to visit the Islamic University of Gaza on this occasion. Al Quds University did not reply to me despite repeated e-mails and as my time was limited I gave it a miss. (It would, in any event, be very easy to visit in the future as it is based in Jerusalem.)

I met the head librarians in all instances and, on some campuses, other library or academic staff. We discussed ways in which FFIPP-UK might help with the supply of English-language books and what types of books might be useful. The issue of other forms of help, particularly academics coming to teach in the West Bank and the possibility of scholarships for Palestinian students to study abroad, recurred frequently.

Finally, I also had a productive discussion with the British Council about the logistics of shipping books to Palestine.


All universities have some English-language collections, through the proportion of English to Arabic books, and the quality varies enormously among them. Equally clearly, teaching methods vary, from very formal transfer of factual information in hierarchical settings to courses and teachers keen to encourage critical thinking.

There has recently been a large one-off grant from Book Aid International (part of USAID) which provided almost $500k to Palestinian universities – around $45k per library, plus a handful of computers, plus an initial one-year sub to some electronic databases (which a university consortium has agreed to keep going from their own funds in future ñ paying something like $7k each p.a., which will probably be funded by cutting the equivalent expenditure off periodical subscriptions). Libraries were asked to submit lists of titles they wanted at very short notice. In the end, they got about half of what they asked for and the shipments were topped up with titles supplied by ëfriendlyí US publishers who probably have some deal with USAID – Lippincott in nursing and education; Information Science Publishing, Idea Group Publications and others in the sciences (all in the same format which makes them look like very closely inter-related houses).

Apart from the Book Aid shipments there was a major book fair in Cairo where many universities bought books cheaply ñ largely in Arabic, but also some in English. In addition some universities are World Bank depositary libraries, and all World Band publications are available in English there.

These would appear to constitute almost all the recent English-language acquisitions. Older books are sometimes very old and many look like they are on the shelves only because no one has had time to weed them out. There is clearly a shortage of books of all kinds ñ especially up-to-date science, nursing and medical-related texts; teaching English as a second/foreign language, literature etc. Everyone was very keen for us to help build their collections, but all agreed that any books need to be carefully selected. Some libraries are keen on acquiring textbooks; other really want background reading for enrichment. Equally clearly, no-one wants to be fobbed off with books which are out-of-date, in poor condition, underlined etc.

Post offices on the West Bank are of course all closed as there is no money to pay staff, consequent on the boycott of the Hamas government. Current issues of periodicals are therefore not available anywhere.

It was generally agreed that the libraries will try to be as specific as possible about the areas taught at their universities where English-language books will be helpful. They will try to supply teachersí bibliographies and requests for specific titles; though in many cases there will be merely subject headings to go by. I already have received a number of these. There were also some requests for us to supply them with current UK-lecturersí bibliographies in areas they teach.

In general terms critical social science books ñ apart from gender studies – are not in high demand. The most requested subject was nursing, followed by the sciences and Information Technology (current only!); but anything concerned with English-language acquisition and/or literature is also valued. Here again it seems important to liaise with departments since there is little point supplying areas of literature, say, that are not taught or likely to be taught at particular institutions. Bir Zeit is different in that it has a developed graduate programme and is keen to acquire a wide range of critical texts as background reading for its students.

Most campuses seem to be very empty after 3.00 pm. with many students having to return home daily to the surrounding villages. Students are now generally very local as it is so difficult to travel from one town to another in the West Bank e.g. there are said to be no Hebron students at Bethlehem although they are around the corner from one another. It is quite impossible to get to and from Gaza ñ 10 Occupational Therapy students from Gaza are now in their 3rd year at Bethlehem University but have yet to set foot on the campus, their only real contact being via a video conferencing link!). Even local students are constantly harassed ñ at An-Najar in Nablus 52 students have been killed in the conflict and some nine thousand have to pass through checkpoints on a daily basis to get to and from the university. Where they can, staff from outlying villages stay in the towns during the week. (It is worth stressing, again and again, that almost all checkpoints and roadblocks are internal to the West Bank and have nothing to do with security and everything to do with humiliation and domination.)

There are some foreign academics at all the universities, and they are very keen to encourage more, especially native English-language teachers, but inter-university exchange is not helped by the Israeli policy of only granting foreigners short ñ generally 3-month – visas which have to be renewed by leaving the country and reapplying. Recently the Arab American University lost its (US) head of its modern-languages dept when her visa was not renewed. No reason was given.


A: the Book Project

1. That FFIPP-UK go ahead with a pilot project to supply books to Palestinian universities.

This will involve drawing up more-clearly specified areas of interest and sometimes specific titles to acquire; finding people who will take on subject areas and pursue the acquisition of books in them; arranging collection/delivery to some central point, yet to be located, where books can be sorted and stored prior to shipment, and so on.

Although I call it a pilot project, I think we should aim high and send a substantial consignment when we launch. (If it should prove to be a one-off, letís make sure it is nonetheless worthwhile!)

2. That we approach the Universities and College Union for help and support with the project.

3. That we seek funding from educational charities and trusts to cover such items as storage, cataloguing (mundane-level listing of authors and titles in Excel would be fine), packing and shipment.

4. That we appeal for financial donations from academics interested in the project

To make all this possible I will attempt to convene a Books Project Group soon after my return to have an initial meeting before the end of the year. Pleae let me know if you are willing to take part.

B: FFIPP-UK and academic freedom in the OPTs more generally

I was confronted with the daily violations of academic freedom at the institutions I visited. The pettiness of the harassment at checkpoints is what most nauseates anyone traveling on the West Bank. I feel there is a major project for FFIPP-UK (and of course for FFIPP-International) and we should intervene strongly in the academic boycott debate which will be renewed with a vengeance in the new year.

We should, for example:

a) make sure that these violations of academic freedom, such as the harassment of students at checkpoints; the failure to allow free movement within the Palestinian territory, particularly form Gaza to the West Bank but also more generally; the failure to renew visas for foreign academics;

b) expose the hypocrisy of opposing the academic boycott of Israeli universities on ground of academic freedom while remaining silent about the continued violations of it in Palestine;

c) Call on Israeli academics to take a clear stand in support of their Palestinian colleagues and their students, both through their trade unions and their professional organizations.

This approach should, in my view, not just be that of FFIPP-UK but of FFIPP-International.

Richard Kuper

2nd December 2006

2. Materials on the denial of residency rights to foreigners in Palestine and the devastating effect this is having on academic and professional work.

a) Appeal from the Presidents of ALL Palestinian Universities

To Members of Global Civil Society and Academia

We, Presidents of Palestinian institutions of higher education, wish to bring to your attention an alarming yet unannounced Israeli policy that affects our society in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at large, and education in particular: the denial of entry, re-entry, and continuous residence to foreign passport holding Palestinians and non-Palestinian family members, lecturers, NGO workers, and international development experts.

Since the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, Israel has unilaterally controlled the civil register of the Palestinian population, and has restricted movement in and out of the Occupied Palestinian Territory for Palestinians and other non-Israelis, thus depriving the Palestinians of their basic right to freedom of movement and residence.

Since the beginning of 2006, and especially after the parliamentary elections, many thousands of foreign passport holders of Palestinian and non-Palestinian origin living and/or working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory have suddenly been denied entry or even threatened with deportation. Israel has arrogated to itself the prerogative of allowing or refusing work permits to foreigners in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Most of these are Palestinian-born and currently hold foreign passports because their IDs have either been revoked while studying or working abroad, or their applications for family reunion rejected by the Israeli occupation authorities under various pretexts since October 2000. Yet they are citizens who have built their lives in Palestine, paying local taxes and voting in regional and national elections in their embryonic State.

The majority of foreign passport holders who are denied entry have family connections in Palestine and are entitled to family integrity by international conventions and recognized norms. Israel has also signed agreements of reciprocity in diplomacy and immigration rules with other countries, which it is now violating while consistently failing to provide a proper reason for its behavior, depriving threatened persons of their basic rights of access to justice, transparency and state accountability. Israeli citizens, meanwhile, enjoy unfettered entry into most countries around the world, while citizens of these countries are being denied similar treatment when they cross Israeli borders.

The business community has also been severely affected. Several successful diaspora businessmen, who have invested heavily in building their community for over a decade, are now being refused entry or deported with barely a monthís warning.

Diaspora Palestinians and foreigners have withstood humiliating interrogation at entry points, continuously threatened with the insecurity of not having their tourist visas or visitorís permits renewed every three months. Most of them are a part of the local educated class whose contributions to civil society, educational institutions and the private sector have been invaluable for the construction of a viable pluralistic country and laying the foundations for a future Palestinian state. There have been at least five cases of academics and university staff being denied entry to the West Bank, the most recent in July 2006. Numerous international students were turned away at the borders and unable to register or continue their studies in Palestine. Even Trustees of various university boards have been issued final permits and are being told to exit the country. We call on you to support appropriate collective action against this dangerous policy of denial of entry- and re-entry to Palestinians and other nationals that threatens to empty the Occupied Palestinian Territory of its educated classes:

ï To achieve the reversal of this illegitimate, discriminatory and immoral form of population control

ï To secure the total freedom of access to education and other activities in Palestine.

Presidents of Palestinian Universities

Dr. Ali Zedan

Al-Aqsa University/Gaza

Brother Daniel Casey

Bethlehem University

Dr. Daoud Zatari

Palestine Polytechnic University

Dr. Fakhri Hasan

Hebron University

Dr. Jawad Wadi

Al-Azhar University/Gaza

Dr. Kamalain Shaath

Islamic University of Gaza

Dr. Munther Salah

Arab American University

Dr. Nabeel Kassis

Birzeit University

Dr. Rami Hamdalla

An-Najah University

Dr. Sari Nusaibah

Al Quds University

Dr. Younis Amro

Al Quds Open University

b) The Right to Entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory Issue Statement


Campaign for the Right of Entry/Re-Entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory(oPt)

A Grassroots Campaign for the Protection of Foreign Passport Holders Residing in and/or visiting the oPt

The Issue: An undeclared Israeli policy is currently in effect. It denies entry and/or re-entry to foreign nationals, who want to visit, live, or work in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Israel is arbitrarily turning away foreign nationals at Israeli ports of entry, which are the only way to reach the oPt, causing unjustified hardships: families are being separated, investors are exiting the country, educators are unable to reach their schools and universities, students’ education is being disrupted, and elderly are being left without caretakers, to state but some of the ramifications.

While Israelís restrictive entry policy has negative consequences for an entire population and opens up for an array of interrelated socio-economic, political, and humanitarian issues, the Campaign for the Right of Entry/Re-entry to the oPt identifies two main target groups.

I: Family Unification Applicants:

More than 120,000 foreign nationals have applied for family unification as per Israeli-defined regulations, but have been unable to gain permanent residency due to the Israeli refusal to process these applications (the so-called freeze on family unification, which began shortly after the outbreak of the al- Aqsa Intifada in 2000).

II: Visitors:

This refers to foreign nationals, both of Palestinian and non-Palestinian descent, destined for the oPt for short- or longer-term visits. They include relatives, brides and grooms, and also students, teachers, human rights workers, business people, NGO staff etc, who are vital parts of the productive sectors of society.


Until the time that the Israeli occupation of the oPt ends, Israel must immediately begin to process all pending applications for family unification in a transparent and accountable fashion. Furthermore, Israel must introduce a visa status that allows for visitors to freely enter/exit the oPt via Israel without the fear of being denied entry or the hassle of having to continuously make short-term renewals. Also, Israel has no right to define who is permitted to be employed in the oPt, and thus should not be permitted to define right of entry for employees in the oPt.

International Humanitarian and Human Rights Laws are the guiding bodies of law that Israel must be forced to apply to the oPt. It is the responsibility and obligation of the international community, especially the signatories of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to intervene to ensure international law is being properly applied in the service of safeguarding the ëprotectedí Palestinian people.

Peace processes are long in the making. In the meantime, Israelís unilateral measures, including the attempt to empty Palestine of its population of foreign nationals, whether they be Palestinian or non- Palestinian of origin, are illegal and a threat to peace, stability and prosperity in the whole region.

Did you know that…

…since 1967, Israel has maintained complete control over the population registry of the oPt, and over the granting of permits to visit the oPt. This control continues to extend to the Rafah border crossing in the Gaza Strip even after Israelís disengagement in 2005. The Palestinians may merely administer the Rafah

border crossing as per Israeli rules and regulations.

Did you know that…

…since the end of 2000, Israel has stopped accepting requests for family unification for Palestinian residents of the oPt married to foreign nationals. Unification applications previously submitted to Israel by the Palestinian Authority have been almost completely frozen. PAís Ministry for Civil Affairs estimates that it has received more than 120,000 requests for unification since the end of 2000.

Did you know that…

…since the end of 2000 Israel has also stopped granting visitorís permits to the oPt and by doing so closed the only legal way open to non-resident spouses to live with their resident families.

Did you know that…

…17.2% of Palestinian residents have at least one first-degree relative (spouse, parent, child or sibling) who has not been able to register in the population registry and therefore does not hold an Israeli-issued Palestinian ID-card. 78.4% of these families are affected by the current Israeli prohibition and freeze on family unification.

Did you know that…

…due to Israelís policy since 2000 and the fear of being separated from their families, tens of thousands of foreign nationals and spouses of residents have become ìpersons staying illegallyî in the oPt. If caught at Israeli checkpoints, these people may be immediately detained and deported.

Did you know that…

… due to the restrictions on family unification and the granting of visitorís permits, foreign passport holders have for years been relying on a system of continuously renewable 3-months (or shorter) tourist visas. Although such frequent visa renewals are time-consuming and costly, at least they used to be possible. This year there has been a dramatic increase in reported denied-entry cases. Israel is now

refusing to accept these foreign nationals living and working in the oPt as ìtouristsî while having effectively closed off all other options to legally reside in the area.

Did you know that…

…since May 2006, the biggest university in the West Bank, Birzeit University, has seen a 50% decline in employees with foreign passports and lists the recent rise of visa-refusals as a significant attributable factor. Birzeit University hosts 400 non-resident students, all of whom are at risk of deportation or denial of entry upon their next visa-renewal.

c) Statement and proposed actions by the Israeli Committee for Right of Residency

In March 2006, the Israeli government initiated a policy of visa denial to individuals of Palestinian descent having foreign passports, many of whom Israel has arbitrarily denied residency rights to in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. (OPT). Many of these persons have lived here for years without succeeding in obtaining residency rights even though they made Palestine their primary residence and place of employment/business, married local Palestinians, and had children who were born in Palestine.

These people have managed to stay in the Occupied Palestinian Territory by means of tourist visas issued by the Israeli government. Such visas are valid for three months. Their holders are obliged to go abroad to renew them. Those who cannot afford to travel abroad become illegal sojourners and live in perpetual fear of being deported, which confines them to their homes. Those who go abroad have no assurance that they will be allowed to return, and in recent years the number of people denied reentry has increased significantly. Indeed, at this time, most persons of Palestinian origin attempting to transit via Israel in order to return to their families and occupations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory have been denied entry. Additionally, just recently 105 passports that had been submitted for visa extension were returned by the Israeli authorities with no extension beyond the end of 2006, and all stamped ìlast visa,î meaning that there would be no further visa extensions and that the holders of these passports would be forced to leave. As a result of this policy, families are torn apart, schooling for the children is disrupted, and economic disasters follow.

Among the entry-denied individuals are professionals from foreign countries who are not necessarily Palestinian. This group includes physicians, teachers, professors, students, social workers, and professionals in a variety of fields filling critically important positions in hospitals, schools, universities, and social institutions. Those being forced to leave by being denied entry or re-entry leave a vacuum in institutions unable to find replacements. This is devastating for all concerned, and has life-threatening implications particularly in the field of medical care. On the one hand, the ability of hospitals in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to treat Palestinians is constantly diminishing while on the other hand Israelís General Security Services (ëShabakí) often denies access to Israeli hospitals for treatment.

We, members of the Israel Committee for the Right of Residency (ICRR), have been calling upon the Israeli public to join us in demanding that our government desist from denying residency rights in the OPT to Palestinians or persons of Palestinian descent with foreign passports as well as to foreign professionals contributing to the welfare of the Palestinian population. We have been meeting with staffs of foreign embassies in Israel and have called upon them to use their good offices to intercede with the Israeli authorities to change the imposed restrictions. However, embassies do not make policy. They carry out the policies of their governments.

We therefore call upon you, people of conscience living abroad, to organize campaigns to inform your officials about Israelís policy of ëentry-denied.í We ask you to write letters requesting them to demand that Israel change its policy. We also ask Israelis and citizens of other countries to write letters of protest to the Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

As academics and members of ICRR, we are particularly concerned about the damage this policy is inflicting on the education system of Palestinians in the OPT. We am therefore writing to ask you to also write letters to the Israeli Minister of Education, Prof. Yuli Tamir, in order to protest the effects this policy has on quenching academic life and education for Palestinians in Palestine.


Prof. Rachel Giora, Tel Aviv University

Dr. Snait Gissis, Tel Aviv University

Prof. Emeritus Aharon Eviatar, Tel Aviv University

Prof. Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, The Hebrew University

Dr. Anat Matar, Tel Aviv University

Ruchama Marton, MD, President and Founder of Physicians for Human Rights Israel

Israeli Committee for Right of Residency (ICCR), Tel: +972-9-958-4804

PS Below are links to additional information about the issue, contact information for the Israeli PM and MOI. There is also a draft letter that you can use or modify as needed to send to officials. You are, of course, welcome to write your own, if you prefer.


Addresses of Israeli Officials to whom protest letters should be sent:

Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert: Telephone numbers: 972-2-67 53227; 972-2-67 53547; fax 972-2-566 4838; email or

Minister of Interior, Ronnie Bar-on: fax 972-2-566 6376; email: or, if faxing and Minister is not enabled, ask for Sabine (972-2-6294722 or fax: 972-2-6701628)

Prof. Yuli Tamir, Minister of Education

Tel 972-2-675 3437

Fax 972-2-675 3976

Yakov Ben Yizry

Tel 972 2 675 3728

Fax 972 2 678 7662;


Sample Letter:

Dear _______________________,

Israel prides itself on being a democratic country. Yet Israeli policy denies family unification in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and since March 2006 also denies entry to the OPT for individuals of Palestinian descent, who Israel refuses to register as residents as well as also for other foreigners who wish to visit, work, or study in the OPT. This is not in keeping with democratic values.

Nor is this policy consistent with Israelís stated intention to abide by the Road Map, an intention reiterated by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in his speech on November 27 at a memorial ceremony for Paula and David Ben Gurion. On that occasion Prime Minister Olmert expressed the intention (given certain conditions) ìto establish an independent and viable Palestinian State, with territorial contiguity in Judea and Samaria ñ a State with full sovereignty and defined borders.î [ ]

By denying entry into the OPT to individuals of Palestinian descent who have been refused residency rights even though many have lived in the OPT for years and even though they have families, occupations, and also own property, Israel is forcing these people to leave. But if indeed there is to be a Palestinian State in the future, then why drive Palestinians out?

If Israeli officials truly intend to work towards accomplishing the Road Map by the establishment of a viable Palestinian state with internationally recognized borders, then Israel must immediately cease its policy of refusing entry to peopleóof Palestinian or any other descent –desiring to visit, work, study, or live in that future state.


d) Further reading (via ICCR)

For B’tselem’s full report on the subject

For supplementary information about the present situation see,1,6508718.story?page=2&coll=chi-news-hed


3. Latest FFIPP-International Newsletter – go to and click on ‘latest newsletter’
4. Humiliations at the airport: The Israeli racial state in action

Ronit Lentin

Article published in Metro Eireann, issue 6, 30 November – 6 December 200

‘Being a Palestinian means to me being intimately connected to intense personal and emotional upheavals regarding place, location, identity, and desire. It means living – mostly in silence – the personal/political struggle of an oppressed people, working diligently to mend the broken voice inside and between usä’

On Thursday November 16, the author of the above words, my friend, Dr Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, a criminology lecturer at the Faculty of Law in Israel’s prime university, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was on her way to a conference on gender and human rights in Tunis. But she never reached her conference: though not suspected, nor charged of any offence, she was subjected to humiliating searches which took over three hours, with the result that she did not make her flight.

Dr Shalhoub-Kevorkian is a Palestinian Israeli citizen, born in my hometown Haifa, and living in East Jerusalem. She is an internationally acknowledged expert on women and the law and on cross-cultural models of intervention in dealing with female victims of sexual abuse, and has published extensively in international academic journals. Nadera has initiated the first hotline to serve the Palestinian population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and coordinated the hotline services and social work department at the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling in Jerusalem; she has also run support groups for mothers of Palestinian victims, enabling women under occupation to find their voice.

As soon as she arrived at the airport she and the driver of the car that brought her there were subjected to extensive body and luggage search. Security guards took away their cell phones, and spent 40 minutes checking the car’s body and engine. When she was finally allowed into the airport, she was singled out as four security guards took her clothes out, spreading them and her papers over the counter, sticking their fingers into her underwear and personal effects. It took a while before she was allowed to phone her colleagues at the Hebrew University who were unable to help. Nadera was not allowed to take her laptop on board – security personnel were going to send it separately to Tunis, even though she explained that she needed her laptop to prepare her lecture. The security supervisor, one Tal Vardi (no. 14544), was extremely rude to her, and security personnel kept joking about her clothes and personal effects. Totally humiliated, Nadera, whose health is not robust, was in tears, ending up with chest pains, dizziness and sickness which led to vomiting. Ten minutes before her flight, she became so agitated that she decided not to run for the plane and had to miss her conference.

The description of her humiliation in Ben Gurion airport enrages me, not because Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian is a brilliant scholar, not because she has done more than many other Palestinians for women and children in Palestinian society, criticising not only the Israeli occupation, but also patriarchal Palestinian society, and not because she is the daughter of Palestinians who remained in Haifa even though most of their community was coerced into fleeing the town by the victorious Israelis in 1948. But because Nadera is a citizen of the state of Israel, whose life work, in her words, is an ongoing ‘struggle to prove not only that I exist, but that I have a voice’, but whose experience in Ben Gurion airport proves yet again the machinations of the Israeli racial state.

Dr Ronit Lentin

Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Course Coordinator MPhil in Ethnic and Racial Studies

Department of Sociology, Trinity College

Dublin 2, Ireland

Tel. 353 1 8962766. Email:

5. For information on the next FFIPP delegation of international faculty and students to Palestine-Israel, 27th December – 7th January see


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