EISA Governing Board Statement on attacks on higher education and academic freedom in Palestine

09. 11. 2023

The European International Studies Association is committed to upholding academic freedom including the ability of academics to work and students to learn in safety. The EISA therefore condemns in the strongest possible terms the destruction of the Islamic University of Gaza and Al-Azhar University in Gaza.

The total destruction of both universities means the elimination of university education in Gaza, and the loss of our colleagues’ workplaces. Furthermore, the physical demolition of the universities’ infrastructure is an attack on knowledge, its collection, production, and dissemination that erases the past and reverberates into the future.

This takes place alongside recent intensification of long-standing curtailment of mobility and closures in the Occupied West Bank that result in severe restrictions in accessing university education.

The EISA expresses solidarity with all affected colleagues and students.

At the same time EISA expresses concern at the rising antisemitism, Islamophobia, discrimination and political polarisation which impact our scholarly community, silencing discussions, and fostering feelings of insecurity. The EISA condemns in the strongest possible terms all forms of racism, discrimination and dehumanisation and affirms its commitment to the human rights and safety of all.

We unequivocally condemn any attacks on our colleagues and students grappling with immense distress, fear, and grief in these tough times. We stand united in offering them support, understanding, and solidarity.