CALL TO ACTION: Protect Palestinian-American researcher Ubai Aboudi from Israeli military detention

Ubai Aboudi and his wife, Hind, with two of their children. Photo: family

Ubai Aboudi is a Palestinian-American civilian, father, researcher, educator, director of the Bisan Center for Research and Development who was abducted by Israeli military without charges on November 13, 2019. Ubai was also working to support Scientists for Palestine in organizing the Third International Meeting on Science in Palestine, which took place on January 10-12, 2020, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ubai was prevented from attending and presenting his own research due to his Israeli military detention.

He was initially held under administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial – and then transferred to the Israeli military courts on later manufactured, baseless charges that are routinely imposed on Palestinians.

Despite the fact that Ubai is a U.S. citizen and that the U.S. government provides Israel with $3.8 billion in military aid every year, the U.S. State Department has largely left Ubai and Hind Shraydeh, his wife and the mother of their three children, to suffer alone. Your support is critical in pressuring the State Department to end its silence in the case of Ubai Aboudi and working to ensure his freedom.


Act by contacting the U.S. State Department and your Member of Congress. Use the draft talking points below to make your message clear.


  • Hi, my name is ____ and I am calling to demand that the Department of State [your Member of Congress] work to ensure the immediate release of Ubai Aboudi, a U.S. citizen, Palestinian civilian, father, and educator. Ubai is detained in Israeli military custody, where he has languished since November 13, 2019. Scholars, scientists, and activists from around the world have been calling for his release.
  • If you are calling your member of Congress, please identify your personal connection to your representative’s office as well as any relevant background you may have. For example: I am a constituent from _ _ _ _ _  (town/city) calling about an urgent matter regarding a US citizen, Ubai Aboudi, who is in an Israeli prison. I am particularly concerned because i am a  _ _ _ _ _(professor at  _ _ _ _ _  University or employed as a  _ _ _ _ _ at  _ _ _ _ (company) ) and this man is an internationally esteemed colleague.  I am asking Rep/Senator  _ _ _ _ to work for the immediate release of Ubai Aboudi by calling on Secretary of State Pompeo to secure his release.
  • I demand his case be given top priority as his preexisting health conditions may render his already unlawful detention a death sentence during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Israeli military is also known to torture more than 95% of the Palestinians it abducts- including children and convicts more than 99% of the Palestinians it detains. Israeli military practices against Palestinians are best- and most appallingly- highlighted by the fact that Israel is the only country in the world to systemically capture and keep children in military prison camps.
  • Israel is now being investigated by the International Criminal Court for grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, war crimes and crimes against humanity, including for its military abductions and treatment of Palestinian prisoners.
  • How can your Department allow U.S. citizens to be held and tried by a military regime that is being investigated by the ICC?
  • Israel’s military detention system systematically discriminates Palestinians and is inherently racist. Israel has shown deliberate disregard for the health and well-being of Palestinian detainees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by not testing Palestinian prisoners, preventing prisoners to access appropriate sanitary equipment, and has ignoring multiple calls for their release from UN officials.
  • Israeli anti-Palestinian racism was also globally showcased when in response to the UNHCR Commissioner’s demand for the release of all political prisoners to protect them from coronavirus, Israel released 400 non-political Israeli prisoners and increased its military abduction of Palestinians – including children. If this is how they treat children, we can only imagine how they treat adults.
  • Palestinians are abducted by Israeli military and charged and tried for activities that are routine in every society- activities which are legal for Israelis to undertake. For example, the Israeli military prison system criminalizes Palestinian groups and individuals as security threats and terrorists for participating in mere gatherings “that could be construed as political.”
  • It is disturbing to know that our government and the Department of State would allow its citizens to be held and tried in such an unlawful and racist system. It is all the more appalling that our government and the Department of State adopts these Israeli “terrorism” designations in the US while knowing their obviously racist, arbitrary, and illegal genesis which not only criminalizes most of Palestinian society, but manages to ensnare and abuse an education worker, a farming and science advocate, and a civilian citizen of the US.
  • I ask that your Department reject these designations; that it reject the charges and conviction against Ubai as illegal and contrived; and that you please work to free Ubai immediately.
  • I cannot feel safe until I know your Department will protect Ubai as it would protect me and my family. Please write (call) back to let me know what steps your office will take.