Two prestigious law reviews censor Palestinian scholar for proposing a legal framework that ties the Gaza genocide to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948

By Jonathan Cook, Jonathan Cook Blog

Anyone who imagines there is something resembling academic freedom in the US, or elsewhere in the West for that matter, needs to read this article in the Intercept on an extraordinary – or possibly not so extraordinary – episode of censorship of a Palestinian academic. It shows how donors are the ones really pulling the strings in our academic institutions.

Photo credit: Palestinian Youth Movement @palyouthmvmt

Here’s what happened:

1. The prestigious Harvard Law Review was due to publish its first-ever essay by a Palestinian legal scholar late last year, shortly after Hamas’ October 7 attack in Israel. Hurrah (finally) for academic freedom!

2. However, the essay, which sought to establish a new legal concept of the Nakba – the mass expulsion of Palestinian civilians from their homeland in 1948 to create what would become the self-defined Jewish state of Israel – was pulled at the last moment, despite the fact the editors had subjected it to intense editorial checks and scrutiny. The Harvard Review got cold feet – presumably because of the certainty the essay would offend many of the university’s donors and create a political backlash.

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