Statement in solidarity with Palestinian human rights defenders


This statement has been drafted collaboratively by early career academics who are concerned for the lives of Palestinians and how the misuse of anti-terror laws both by the Israeli government and other governments globally prevents crucial solidarity and academic work being conducted. Scholarship on terrorism cannot be pulled apart from international politics and it is vital we take a stand and try to effect change.  

To add your name to the letter, follow this link.

We, academics, researchers and practitioners in the fields of Terrorism Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Human Rights and Public International Law strongly condemn the Israeli Ministry of Defence’s recent designation of six Palestinian civil society groups as ‘terrorist’ organisations. This unsubstantiated designation is based on false allegations.

The recent proscription of the Palestinian groups Addameer, Al-Haq, the Bisan Center, Defence for Children International Palestine, the Union of Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, comes in the context of Israel’s decades-long military occupation of Palestinian territory and its numerous violations of Palestinian human rights, under a discriminatory system that international human rights organisations, such as Human Rights Watch and Bt’selem, have widely condemned. This crackdown against Palestinian civil society groups is an extremely worrying escalation in Israel’s attempt to further curtail Palestinian’s resistance against occupation, and prevent the documentation of violations against human rights. These groups engage in lifesaving work that benefits the large proportion of disenfranchised Palestinians who face on a daily basis the violence of dispossession, and increased restrictions on civil and basic human rights.

UN human rights experts have condemned the false designation calling it a ‘frontal attack on the Palestinian human rights movement’. Criminalising the work of these groups, which are a lifeline to hundreds of Palestinian families, is meant to stifle any form of resistance, survival and meaningful and dignified living. The barring of these groups under the anti-terror law also works to criminalise anyone who finances or supports them. Two hundred and forty-one regional and international organisations have called for Israel to repeal its Anti-Terrorism Law (2016), stating that ‘it does not meet basic human rights standards’.

As researchers who engage in critical work on Middle Eastern Studies, Terrorism and Political Violence, and Human Rights in general, we believe our concerns are legitimate and valid, and foresee a frightening increase in the misuse of counter terrorism legislation globally. We are extremely concerned for the safety of members of the six organisations and the Palestinian families and individuals who rely on their support. We are equally concerned for the wellbeing and safety of researchers and practitioners who work with these organisations, and those who work to shed light on the plight of Palestinians in the occupied territories. We hold the Israeli government fully responsible for the safety of the employees of these legitimate NGOs.

The misuse of counter terrorism legislation to curtail human rights and undermine civil liberties is a dangerous precedent. The international community should prevent governments from violating basic human rights that are guaranteed by the United Nations’ charter and other international and regional treaties and legislation. We stand in solidarity with these organisations who do vital work. We call on to the international community to exert rightful pressure on the Israeli government to repeal the proscription of the six Palestinian civil rights organisations. We also call on the Israeli government to cease the misuse of anti-terror laws against civil society organisations in the occupied Palestinian territories and to end the military occupation of Palestinian territory. We further call upon Higher Education institutions to publish statements condemning this designation.

Your name will be added below and this statement will be shared with the six Palestinian organisations.
If you have any queries or want to make changes to your name, please email


Dr Adam Elliott-Cooper, Lecturer, Department of Politics and IR, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Afaf Jabiri, Senior Lecturer, University of East London
Ahmed Abozaid, University of St Andrews
Dr Alessandra Mezzadri, Senior Lecturer Development Studies, SOAS University of London
Alice Finden, PhD candidate in critical terrorism studies, SOAS, University of London
Alistair Davison, Executive Director, Cordoba Peace Institute – Geneva
Amna Kaleem, PhD Researcher, University of Sheffield
Dr. Anna Meier, Assistant Professor, University of Nottingham
Dr Anne Alexander, Research Associate, CRASSH, University of Cambridge
Professor Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, SOAS University of London
Professor Azrini Wahidin, University of Warwick
Dr Barbara Pizziconi, Reader in Japanese Applied Linguistics, SOAS, University of London
Barbara Schenkel, PhD candidate, SOAS, University of London
Bethany Elce, PhD student, SOAS
Dr Busra Soylemez-Karakoc Bucknell University
Chaeyoung Yong, PhD candidate, University of St Andrews
Dr Christian Henderson, Assistant Professor, Leiden University
Dr Clive Gabay, Reader in International Politics, Queen Mary University of London
Professor Dina Matar, SOAS, University of London
Dr Darryl Li, Assistant Professor of Anthropology. University of Chicago
Darya Tsymbalyuk, PhD researcher, University of St Andrews
Dr David Wearing, Post Doctoral Research Associate, SOAS University of London
Dr Emily Jones, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Essex
Dr Emily Regan Wills, Associate Professor, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa
Frederic Schneider, Senior Research Associate, University of Cambridge
Professor Gilbert Achcar, Professor of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London
Professor Goldie Osuri, University of Warwick
Dr. Hannah Bargawi, SOAS University of London
Dr Hsinyen Lai, Associate Lecturer, St Andrews
Dr. Imad Mustafa, University of Erfurt (Germany)
Professor Jan Selby, Professor of Politics and International Relations, University of Sheffield
James Godfrey, PhD Researcher, Birkbeck, University of London
Dr Jared Ahmad, Lecturer in Journalism, Politics and Communication, University of Sheffield
Dr Jasmine K. Gani, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of St. Andrews
Dr Jeff Handmaker, Associate Professor, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Dr Jennifer Philippa Eggert, independent researcher
Professor John Chalcraft, LSE
Joude Bazzoun, student, University College Utrecht
Professor Laleh Khalili, Professor of International Politics, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Lewis Turner, Lecturer in International Politics, Newcastle University
Lilly Barker, PhD student, Nottingham Trent University
Professor Lindiwe Dovey, Professor of Film and Screen Studies, SOAS University of London
Dr Lisa Stampnitzky, Lecturer in Politics, University of Sheffield
Dr Lori Allen, Reader, Department of Anthropology, SOAS
Lucia Kula, Lecturer in Law & Gender, SOAS University of London
Professor Lynn Welchman, School of Law, SOAS, University of London
Madlen Nikolova, Doctoral candidate, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield
Dr Malaka Mohammed, the University of St Andrews
Professor Mandy Turner, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Manchester
Dr Manjeet Ramgotra, Senior Lecturer, SOAS University of London
Dr Maria Norris, Assistant Professor, University of Coventry
Dr Mazen Masri, Senior Lecturer, The City Law School, City University of London
Dr Melanie Richter-Montpetit, Senior Lecturer in International Security, University of Sussex
Mekia Nedjar International Relations Lecturer
Mira Al Hussein, PhD Candidate, University of Cambridge
Professor Miriam R. Lowi, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ, USA
Mohammad AlYousef
Nama’a, Doctoral Researcher at Delft University of Technology
Professor Neve Gordon, Professor of Human Rights, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London
Professor Nicola Pratt, Professor of the International Relations of the Middle East, University of Warwick
Dr Nisha Kapoor, Associate Professor, University of Warwick
Nivi Manchanda, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Omar Dahi, Associate Professor, Hampshire College
Dr Paola Zichi, Postdoctoral Researcher, Queen Mary, University of London
Pietro Stefanini, PhD student, University of Edinburgh
Dr Piers Robinson, co-director, Organisation for Propaganda Studies
Prerana Pai Bhande, Student, University College Utrecht
PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews (anonymous)
Dr Rabea Khan, University of St Andrews
Dr Rahul Rao, Lecturer in International Political Thought, University of St Andrews
Professor Raymond Suttner, Emeritus Professor, University of South Africa
Professor Richard Jackson, University of Otago, New Zealand
Ronit Matar, PhD candidate/assistant lecturer, School of Law, University of Essex
Dr Sai Englert, Lecturer, Leiden University
Sam Morecroft, Anti-Casualisation Officer, USIC UCU
Dr Sharri Plonski, Senior Lecturer in International Politics, Queen Mary University of London
Shirin Rai
Shreeta Lakhani, Senior Teaching Fellow in Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London
Endowed Professor Stellan Vinthagen, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Dr Subir Sinha, Reader in Development Studies, SOAS, University of London
Dr Tara Van Ho, Senior Lecturer, University of Essex School of Law and Human Rights Centre
Dr Tanzil Chowdhury, Lecturer in Public Law, Queen Mary University of London
Professor Tim Jacoby, University of Manchester
Thomas Reid, PhD, University of St Andrews
Dr Tom Pettinger, Research Fellow, University of Warwick
Dr Tor Krever, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Warwick
Professor Virinder Kalra, University of Warwick
Zalina Abdul Halim, PhD candidate, University of Malaya
Zouhair Hammana, PhD candidate, Erasmus University Rotterdam

(List of signatories updated on 25 January 2022. For the latest list of signatories, see here.)

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