Defeating censorship on UK campus and fighting continuing anti-Palestinian racism
Thank you to everyone who spoke up #InSupportofShahd as I was fighting Zionist attempts to silence me. Thanks to you and to everyone who took the time to send emails of support and share on social media and host me on their platforms, that we managed to win this unprecedented victory for Palestine on UK if not European Campuses. However, Zionist hate and racism continues to chase me, more viciously since I resumed teaching the Postcolonial Media Culture Module at Sheffield Hallam University.
On episode 51 of the Electronic Intifada Podcast, host Nora Barrows-Friedman speaks with me and my lawyer, Giovanni Fassina of the European Legal Support Centre. The podcast was originally published on the Electronic Intifada on 1 March with an update on the continuing. It was recorded on Monday 14 February, the day I attended the first lecture after I accepted to be reinstated and took a week off to recover. Please watch the podcast for my latest updates.
You can continue voicing your solidarity on #InSupportOfShahd and Palestinian voices. If you’re Jewish and want to add your signature to a letter circulating to support me and my University, please get in touch. This is necessary as apologists of Israeli apartheid, especially the infamous Jewish Chronicle, continue to protest my reinstatement with a more secure contract, and are branding my university as “a hostile environment for Jews” while citing a single person who sadly leads the Zionist-oriented Jewish Society at University of Sheffield. Send your signatures, (Name, role, city, email), by Monday 7 March. Free Palestine!
What happened so far?
Since Christmas Eve 2021, I came under renewed attack by Zionist publications – Jewish News, Campaign Against Antisemitism and Jewish Chronicle – protesting my recent appointment as an Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU). I had recently submitted a PhD dissertation on the historical representation of Palestinian refugees in colonial, humanitarian and Palestinian documentary films, from 1917 to 1993. The Zionist defamation campaign, and the SHU’s initial response and decision to suspend my teaching duties, joins a historical pattern where the Zionist colonial narrative is consistently privileged over the narratives of the oppressed. Thanks to the thousands of people who spoke up in my support, we won and I returned to teaching with a more secure contract! I am grateful for the legal support from the European Legal Support Centre (ELSC), and the continuing solidarity from a group of brilliant people, academics and campaigners for anti-racism from all religious and ethnic backgrounds!
Some of you have followed me since my birth with Israeli guns pointed against my mum Halima‘s belly and grandmother who assisted her while carrying a lantern in one hand and a white banner in the other, fearing the deadly consequences of breaking the then-imposed military curfew on Jabalia refugee camp. Others have followed me since my activism from Gaza which have been expressed in resistance writings, paintings and Dabke dancing, hoping to bring the Palestinians closer to achieving freedom, justice, equality and return. This grew more prolifically since I was 17 years old when I survived with Gaza’s children-majority population, the 22-day Israeli offensive that led to the killing of 1400 Palestinians, including 308 children. As a third-generation refugee and a daughter of a former political prisoner who endured 15 years of captive resistance in Israeli jails, my undergraduate years were invested in the Palestinian detainees’ struggle and in exposing Israeli crimes by any means necessary against international failure to hold Israel accountable.
Ever since I left Gaza to pursue my higher education in October 2013, I have continued to be one of the loudest voices for Palestine and other anti-racist causes wherever my exilic journey took me, while keeping all those who sacrificed for antiracist causes in mind. Meanwhile, while any Jew around the world can claim citizenship in Israel and move immediately into Palestinian dispossessed lands, such as American extremist Jacob who occupied Al-Kurd’s family house in #SheikhJarrah, my family members are stateless, dispersed between Palestine and Europe, due to the conditions of siege and racist European policies that suffocate Gaza and restrict our ability to even return to our refugee camps.
This is not the first time I’m being harassed; Zionist David Collier published “case study on anti-semitism in Sheffield”, “Vienna’s only criminal Jewish attorney” emailed to my department, protesting my article on AJ: The IHRA anti-Semitism definition won’t protect Israeli apartheid. I have been one of the people who were most vocal against the IHRA and mobilized on a university level, UK and international level. See the Canary article on student and staff resistance against IHRA at SHU, and this OpenDemocracy video that I did which a group of Palestinian student activists in the UK at the PSC student conference in 2018.
Thank you for your continued support!