Sign the petition: Release Palestinian American researcher Ubai Aboudi!

Ubai Aboudi, his wife Hind Shraydeh, and their three children.

Prominent scientists and academics have released a new petition urging the immediate release of detained Palestinian-American researcher Ubai Aboudi, the executive director of the Bisan Center for Research and Development. Noam Chomsky and Nobel Prize winner George Smith are among the signatories to the petition, launched by Scientists for Palestine. Ubai was abducted from his home the night of November 13th, 2019, and held for nearly two months in administrative detention. Unfortunately Ubai still languishes in Israeli military jail.

As noted by Scientists for Palestine, the right to science is “protected by article 27 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Israeli military courts subject Palestinians to an arbitrary legal system de-facto stripping them of their right to science. The case of Ubai, which we followed closely, is no exception.”

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all supporters of Palestine and of freedom for the Palestinian prisoners to express support for Ubai Aboudi by taking action below!

Take Action for Ubai Aboudi!

  1. Sign the Scientists for Palestine petition, demanding the US State Department and the US ambassador in Israel to speak out for Ubai’s release!
  2. Share the Scientists for Palestine petition and/or the S4P Facebook post in your network and ask others to sign.
  3. Directly contact the US State Department to ask for Ubai’s release.

Petition text and signatories

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 [1]. Ubai is one of Scientists for Palestine’s (S4P) closest partners and has worked tirelessly to make the Third International Meeting on Science in Palestine, which took place on January 10-12, 2020, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, happen and his detention prevented him from attending and presenting his own research. Ubai, after two months of administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial – is still currently detained in Israeli military custody on arbitrary charges and without any guarantees of a fair trial [2]S4P and the undersigned supporters are steadfast in the support of article 27 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights [3,4] and article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights [5], which both guarantee everyone’s right to science. S4P and the undersigned supporters therefore condemn Mr. Ubai Aboudi’s abduction and detention in the strongest possible terms and call for the US State Department and the US ambassador in Israel David M. Friedman to end their silence and work to ensure his immediate release from military prison. We also invite all scholars concerned about human rights and the enforcement of the universal right to education to also take immediate action and support our call.

There is overwhelming evidence that Israeli military law applicable to Palestinians in the West Bank imposes draconian criminal sanctions for vaguely worded offenses that do not allow a person to reasonably predict whether an action or inaction amounts to a crime [2] in defiance of international standards [5]. It is all the more appalling that the US government and the US Department of State adopts these Israeli “terrorism” designations knowing their discriminatory, arbitrary, and illegal genesis which de-facto criminalizes most of Palestinian society, but manages to ensnare and abuse a US citizen, education worker and science advocate with potential tremendous consequences.

This call is made even more urgent by the current pandemic and the deliberate disregard shown by the Israeli military for the health and well-being of Palestinian detainees [6, 7]. This is particularly concerning in the case of Ubai given his preexisting health conditions may render his already unlawful detention a death sentence during the coronavirus pandemic. We therefore demand his case be given top priority.

An organization like S4P, which is committed to building scientific collaborations and strengthening those that already exist, should not be put in the position of writing statements of this kind. However, Mr. Aboudi’s brutal abduction and the experience of his unfair trial is a direct attack to anyone attempting to help elevate Palestinian science and education. S4P and the undersigned supporters, believe that so long as our Palestinian colleagues are subjected to a largely arbitrary and discriminatory legal system, it will be impossible for science to thrive in Palestine. We also believe that it is our duty, as researchers and scientists, to work steadfastly for everyone’s right to science to be indeed respected.

Initial signatories:

Scientists for Palestine – Central Committee.
Ahmed Abbes, Mathematician, Directeur de recherche au CNRS, France.
Susan Abulhawa, Writer and Political Activist.
Philip Argyres, Professor of Physics, University of Cincinnati.
Noam Chomsky, Laureate Professor of Linguistics, Agnese Nelms Haury Chair, The University of Arizona.
Anne Davis, Professor of Physics, Cambridge, UK.
Leila Farsakh, Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Boston.
Catherine Goldstein, Mathematician, Directrice de recherche au CNRS, Paris, France.​
Michael Harris, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University.
Assaf Kfoury, Professor, Boston University.
Haynes Miller, Professor of Mathematics, MIT.
Joseph Oesterlé, Professeur émérite à Sorbonne Université, Paris​
Nasser Rabbat, professor, history of architecture, MIT.
George P. Smith, Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, 2018 Nobel Chemistry Laureate.
Lionel Schwartz, professeur émérite de mathématiques, Université Paris Nord, France.
Annick Suzor-Weiner, professeure émérite de physique, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France.​
Raid M Suleiman, Astrophysicist, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian.
Franz Ulm, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, MIT.
Dror Warschawski, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France​.

Click here to add your name! Sign the Scientists for Palestine petition, demanding the US State Department and the US ambassador in Israel to speak out for Ubai’s release! Updated signatories will be posted at the Scientists for Palestine website.


[1] Amnesty International call to action:
[2] 2019 Human Rights Watch report:
[3] United Nations recommendations:
[4] AAAS report:
[5] International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights:
[6] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:
[7] United Nations, Human Rights:
[8] Haaretz: