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Sheffield Hallam University drops investigation into Palestinian academic

25th Feb 2022

Harun Nasrullah

Sheffield Hallam University dropped its anti-Semitism investigation against a Palestinian academic on February 3 and offered her a more secure contract.

Shahd Abusalama, a PhD cinema candidate from Gaza, had been suspended from teaching following a complaint but was reinstated.

Her case sparked claims of pro-Israel bias and rekindled criticism over the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, which is fiercely opposed by those who say it has been exploited to suppress criticism of Israel.

The 30-year-old announced that she “will also be offered a more secure contract”, with Sheffield Hallam University.

“That wouldn’t happen without your support,” the academic said. “Thank you. Let’s keep this going on until we see a liberated Palestine.”

The European Legal Support Center (ELSC), which assisted Abusalama, said: “This is symbolic of the impact that the solidarity movement with Palestine is having. Our power lies within collective action for Palestinian rights advocates.”

Prominent journalist Aaron Bastani also responded, commenting, “Good to see a fair and just outcome. Well done and solidarity.”

A Sheffield Hallam University spokesperson told media: “After some specific concerns were raised in relation to an individual’s proposed appointment as an Associate Lecturer, we had a duty to fully consider the matters brought to our attention. An appointment has now been made following the conclusion of a robust HR process.

“As a university we uphold the principles of free speech and academic freedom. “We are proud that our staff and students come from a diverse range of backgrounds, with a wide range of views and beliefs. We do not tolerate discrimination or hate speech, and are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive culture for all our students and staff.”

The university did not address a question about whether Abusalama’s case was considered under the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.

It said that it “has adopted” the document, adding that “the adoption of this definition does not seek to limit legitimate criticism and debate on issues relating to Israel and the Middle-East.”

One Response to “Sheffield Hallam University drops investigation into Palestinian academic”

Amin KashmeeryFebruary 28, 2022

Dear Shahd,
To the oppressed, you are SHAHD (Arabic word for ultra-pure honey).
To the oppressor, you are GALL.

Keep it that way.

See what Ahmed Versi has tweeted:
Israeli authorities have forced #Palestinian family to demolish their home in occupied #EastJerusalem leaving the family of 6, incl #children, #homeless. #Palestine #Israel #HumanRights #homedemolition

Reply

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