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For current information about the demonstrations, see uva.nl/protestsExternal link

Message Faculty Board on the war in Israel-Hamas

Published on 16-11-2023 09:33
It is understandable that students want to discuss, and attempt to interpret, the events in the Middle East on campus too. This conflict has a long and complex history and is many years in the making. We welcome these discussions on campus and where possible will help facilitate them. Importantly, there is also room for those who do not want to engage in discussion, analysis or positioning.
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There are many different views and opinions on this topic. It is therefore important to inform yourself well. Stay critical and respectful, and check carefully whether the sources you consult are reliable, and be aware that a lot of fake information is circulating on social media. Also think carefully about what you want to share yourself; this will reach those who follow you unfiltered. This could include fellow students with whom you attend lectures.

It is with great concern, distress and sadness that we are observing the ongoing escalation and loss of human lives in the Palestinian territories and Israel. Among our students and staff there are many people who have been directly affected by the conflict, because they have relatives, family, friends or (research) connections in the region. We share their anxiety and our hearts go out to them.

In the broader context of the university community and society, the conflict is also causing intense emotions and strong, sometimes opposing, opinions.

As an academic community, we have a shared responsibility to ensure that these dialogues and interactions are conducted in a respectful, inclusive and pluralistic manner. We believe it is important that the Faculty is a place where we can study and work together with empathy for one another. We trust that everyone in our academic community will help ensure an open, respectful and informed debate. We are hopefully able to disagree, whilst seeing and respecting the pain of the other, and without discrimination or reproach. Discrimination on the basis of origin, nationality, religion or race is unacceptable and does not have a place in our community.

If you need support or a conversation, we encourage you to seek each other out. You can also turn to your study adviser and the help in crisis situations that the UvA can offer.

On behalf of the Faculty Board and the programme directors of the Faculty of Humanities (FGw),

Sabine van Wesemael (director GSH), Carlos Reijnen (director CoH) and Marieke de Goede (dean)