The Executive Board sent the mail to students and staff in response to an announced Gaza protest at Erasmus University, which will take place on Thursday, 16 May. In the mail, the board members express their concerns about the ‘hardening’ during the pro-Palestinian protests among others in the United States and at the University of Amsterdam. “We would very much like to avoid that”, they write. The board will ‘certainly’ offer room to ‘meet again in the short term on campus Woudestein or in The Hague’. “But as far as we are concerned, always in an open dialogue and with respect for each other’s vision.”

In an attachment, the board shared a short list of collaborations with Israeli institutions. According to the university spokesperson, that list is complete as far as known. ‘The board feels it is important to be transparent about this, given the events of recent times and the discussion about it at the university,’ he said.

‘Cowardly subterfuge’

The university does not want to sever the ties or freeze them. “Doing so could also mean complicating our relationship with critical voices within Israeli universities”, the Executive Board members write in the email. Leefbaar Rotterdam calls that argument ‘a cowardly subterfuge with which the EUR plays into the hands of the group of radicals instead of defending its academic partners’. The university’s spokesperson let it be known that the EB ‘takes notice’ of Leefbaar’s comments, but added that the EB did consider possible security risks for individual academics that would be mentioned on a list of collaborations with Israel. “That is why we communicate those collaborations at the level of organisations.”

Action groups Palestine Solidarity Rotterdam and Erasmus School of Colour have announced they will protest on campus Woudestein next Thursday. Among others, student union STUUR supports the protest.

Read more

Palestine solidarity protest to come to campus Woudestein, Board calls for prevention of violence

With an email to all staff and students, the Executive Board has called on everyone to…