By Banksi. He pretty much rules the walls, you know. THIS JUST IN: The University returned Ali’s student card, cancelled all disciplinary charges (it’s now pretending that there never were any), and has reinstated him to the dorms!! 

A ton of thanks is in order to all the people that made it happen. First and foremost to the 538 signatories of the English petition and 220 of the Hebrew one, discounting the odd anti/pro-semitic troll here and there; the 600 people who joined the campaign’s Facebook group; and very importantly, the many of you who emailed the University. A separate thank-you is in order to the many more that posted the info on their blogs, forwarded our emails, and generally chipped in. 

The campaign also received a (somewhat belated) comment from the University. We will be adding it to this post later in the night.

The Freedom of Speech 2008 blog will now formally shut down (unless there are other attacks on students and faculty you want us to report on!), as will the petitions, the Facebook group and our email page. We would also ask you to stop e-mailing the University officials, unless you want to congratulate them on making the right decision – the fight is won, and there’s little point in rubbing it in. However, for those of you who subscribed to our RSS feeds, please don’t cut the links just yet – if there’s another attempt at freedom of speech on Israeli campuses, we will be the first to let you know. Thank you, goodnight, and see you around 🙂 

In solidarity,

Your campaign team



Ali removed by guards (Activestills)

Ali removed by guards (Activestills)

Well, friends, Ali had been to the hearing and is now awaiting its results. The Dean and her deputy received our petitions (links on the right), now boasting a total of nearly 700 signatures altogether. They are now well aware of the reactions the University has generated in Israel and the world over. The answer is supposed to be delivered tomorrow (Wednesday). In the meanwhile, Alis’ eviction is postponed by a day – we hope that this is a good omen…

Since we first came out with the call to help Ali on November 8, the University received many emails in his support. If you click on “Continue reading” link below, you will find select parts from some of the more remarkable ones. You can also read some of the blog posts generated by the campaign in the “Press” section.

Please keep writing to University officials until their decision is finally made public!

Continue reading ‘Your letters of support’

Petition time


Informal sources within the Hebrew University faculty are telling us that disciplinary charges against Ali are now likely to be dropped! However, no formal announcement (or an apology) was received as yet, and the eviction order from the dorms is still in place. Ali has a hearing tomorrow with the Dean of Students, Professor Esther Shami. He needs your help. Here’s what we need you to do between today and tomorrow 8am (Israeli time; 6am GMT and midnight EST).

1. Sign our petition. Let’s get it over the 200-names bar before tomorrow!

2. E-mail Prof Shami and University President Prof Menachem Magidor, and express your support for Ali’s freedom of speech and expression. 

חדשות טובות: מקורות בלתי רשמיים באוניברסיטה העברית מוסרים לנו כי הזימון של עלי לוועדת המשמעת ככל הנראה יבוטל. יחד עם זאת, טרם התקבלה הודעה רשמית (וודאי שלא התנצלות) מטעם ההנהלה. יתרה מכך, הוראת הפינוי של עלי מחדרו במעונות עדיין בתוקף. השימוע בעניין בפני דיקן הסטודנטים, פרופ’ אסתר שהמי, יתקיים מחר ב8 בבוקר, ועלי זקוק לעזרתכם.להלן מה שאפשר וצריך לעשות ביו היום למחר ב8 בבוקר. 

1. חתמו על העצומה שלנו. בואו נעבור את 200 השמות לפני מחר! 

2. כתבו לפרופ’ שהמי ולפרופ’ מנחם מגידור, נשיא האוניברסיטה, והביעו את תמיכתכם בזכותו של עלי לחופש הביטוי. 

Bring it on!


Hello and welcome to the first post of thCensorshipe struggle in support of Ali Baher! Ali is a student at the Hebrew University who has been kicked out from his dorm room, and is facing a possible suspension from his studies, simply because he refused to shake hands with Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel. You can read more about it in the Story section above. 

The latest update is that Ali is appealing to the University against the decision to evict him from his room. We’ll be sure to update you as soon as there is any progress! Click on “how to help” to get it on the action.