Statement on dealing with the Middle East conflict: Visible appeal on the Kassel campus (11/2023)

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The management of the University of Kassel is making a clearly visible appeal to adhere to certain standards in the university's internal discussion about the war in the Middle East. Since today (8.11.), two banners have been hanging on the main campus calling for this in German and English.

Among other things, they read: "It must be clear: The right of the state of Israel to exist is not in question. The right of the Palestinians to their own state is not in question. Any Nazi comparisons are out of the question. Just like any form of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia."

The university management is thus adopting points recently formulated by the director of the Anne Frank Educational Center, Meron Mendel, and his wife, the political scientist and advisor to the German government Saba-Nur Cheema. Last Friday, the Presidential Board sent an email to all students and employees of the university calling on them to adhere to these standards. The University Senate today backed the Presidential Board's approach.

"The war in the Middle East is having a direct impact on our university and is dramatically changing the lives of many students," explained University President Prof. Dr. Ute Clement. The university does not want to ignore the conflicts visible on campus, as is the case everywhere in Germany, and at the same time wants to ensure that students of all religions and nationalities feel safe. "It is our conviction that we must take a stand in times like these and thus help to ensure that our university remains a place where there is no room for hatred, violence and hate speech."

The full text on the banners reads:

Many people from different backgrounds and religions study and work at the University of Kassel.
Universities are places of open dialog, characterized by mutual tolerance and respect.
Arguments, reason - and humanity count here.


We do not look the other way when people suffer.
The right of the state of Israel to exist is not called into question.
We do not question the right of the Palestinians to have their own state.
The overall responsibility for the hundred-year conflict does not lie with just one party.
Any form of terror is to be rejected.
Any NS comparisons are out of the question.
Just like any form of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.