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Emotions about the armed conflict between Israel and the Palestinian territories are running high, also at the UvA. The Executive Board has received many comments about the situation, as well as requests for support. This underlines the indescribable suffering experienced by the civilian population on both sides of the conflict. The horrific footage and distressing stories obviously affect us. We acknowledge the gravity of the situation and would like to express our concern for and sympathy with everyone who feels personally involved because they have family, friends or other connections in the region.

There is room on each of our campuses to hold conversations on the background and context of this complex conflict with each other. These conversations can be organised by staff and students. Furthermore, the Central Diversity Office (CDO) will host a meeting for students and staff to share personal experiences and offer each other support from 15:00 to 17:00 on Friday, 27 October. The CDO will also provide assistance to those who wish to organise an event themselves. Please note that any event you wish to organise must comply with the UvA’s rules, guidelines and Code of Conduct, and remember to submit an application to Facility Services.

As an academic community, we have a collective responsibility to ensure that when we engage in analysis and dialogue, we do so in a respectful, inclusive and pluralist manner. We trust that everyone will do their part to ensure this discussion is conducted in an open, respectful and informed way. We have the right to disagree, but we should not ignore or deny another person’s pain or experience, nor should we discriminate against anyone.

The Executive Board wants our university to be a safe environment for all our staff and students. Anyone who feels unsafe on campus at any time can always call security on +31 (0)20 525 22 22. We advise everyone to add this emergency number to the contacts list in their mobile phone. That way, you can call it immediately when you need help.