Birzeit University Grieves Academician and Human Rights Activist Professor Naseer Aruri

Palestine and the Arab World lost an eminent academic scholar, an internationally-recognized and highly-respected intellectual, a committed and unwavering Palestinian patriot and a progressive Arab nationalist when Dr. Naseer Aruri passed away on February 10, 2015. Aruri was a leading voice in the field of human rights and an authoritative reference on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, particularly regarding the Palestine/Israel conflict. Born in 1934 in Jerusalem- Palestine, Aruri obtained a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and was a prolific writer and lecturer who appeared often in the media over the past half century.

Aruri served as a faculty member of the University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth from 1965 to 1998. This life of academic excellence was matched by a prolific activist career dedicated to the service of Palestinian and Arab causes. Aruri was a founder and two times president of the Association of Arab-American University Graduates, which was the first Pan-Arab organization in North America when it was established in 1968 and had the largest membership of Arab academics outside the Arab World.  In 1998, he co-founded Trans-Arab Research Institute (Boston), and served as Chair of its Board of Directors until 2006. Aruri dedicated himself to the support of human rights. He was a member of the Independent Palestinian Commission for the Protection of Citizens Rights (Ramallah) since its inception in January l994; a founding member of the Arab Organization for Human Rights in 1982, and a key participant in the drafting of the Arab Covenant of Human Rights in December 1986. Aruri was also a member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch/Middle East, (1990-1992), and a three-term member of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International, USA (1984-1990). Aruri served on the boards of Third World Quarterly (London), the Jerusalem Fund - Palestine Center (Washington, D.C.), and the International Institute for Criminal Investigations (The Hague).  Aruri’s lifetime aim was to promote a solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict based on the establishment of one democratic state in historic Palestine in which all its citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or faith, are free and equal.

Naseer Aruri’s many publications include The Palestinian Resistance to Israeli Occupation (1970), Enemy of the Sun: Poems of Palestinian Resistance (co-authored with Edmund Ghareeb, 1970), Occupation: Israel Over Palestine (1983), The Obstruction of Peace: The U.S., Israel and the Palestinians (1995), Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return (2001), Dishonest Broker: The U.S. Role in Israel and Palestine (2003),  Palestine and the Palestinians: A Social and Political History (co-authored with Samih Farsoun, 2006) and Bitter Legacy: The United States in the Middle East (2014). The private library and papers of Naseer Aruri have been preserved and are on display at the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections at UMASS-Dartmouth.