Conflict in the Middle East: Statement from the Executive Board of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences

The Executive Board of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences (HSRW) is acutely aware of the crises around the world and sees the pain and suffering everyone affected—even those in conflicts or crises that tend to receive less media coverage and attention. It is difficult to find the right words for this crisis in particular, given the escalating violence and humanitarian crisis unfolding in Israel and Gaza. However, as one of the most international universities in Germany, we cannot remain silent.

We are all deeply concerned about what is happening. We vehemently condemn the brutal murder of innocent victims in Israel. We thus support the statements* made by the University Rectors’ Conference (HRK) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Our deep sympathy is with every victim in Israel who has been hurt or kidnapped, as well as with their families and friends. But our deep sympathy is also with the people of Gaza who have become victims of this violent conflict as well. At HSRW, our heartfelt sympathy is with every person affected by this conflict.

We condemn every form of violence as well as the glorification, minimisation or flaunting thereof, which includes statements celebrating horrific atrocities and acts of violence. We condemn any form of antidemocratic action and strongly reject any derogatory remarks against any individual due to their origin or religious background, regardless of whether these remarks are uttered in person or posted anonymously online.

HSRW is and will remain a place for scientific discourse and we respect each individual’s right to free expression. Our University is open, cosmopolitan and free of discrimination. We promote the broader international scientific discourse as well as an exchange of cultural values and experiences. This openness and acceptance is a contribution towards achieving mutual understanding between cultures in an integrated and deeply interconnected world. In these difficult and demanding times in particular, we remain steadfastly committed to the core principles of peace, freedom and democracy.

We must ensure that HSRW remains an environment that accepts, includes and values each individual member, particularly in times such as these. This is only possible through the combined efforts of each and every one of us. Our success depends on the readiness and willingness of every member of HSRW to respect other perspectives and contrary positions as a steadfast matter of principle, and to tolerate disagreement. This is the only way that we can maintain a respectful discourse in spite of our differing views.

If you know HSRW, you know it to be home to a strong international community and a place that shows what a successful future could look like, how we can combine our efforts to tackle the pressing problems of our age peacefully and across cultural boundaries, and ultimately find solutions to social challenges together. This is what we at HSRW stand for.

*Statement of the the University Rectors’ Conference (HRK), in German

*Statement of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), in English