Statement on the Gaza War

November 15, 2023

The present statement represents exclusively the views of its signatories. Neither does it express the official position of Central European University nor is it an official declaration on the part of the Center for Religious Studies. It is published here because a significant number of CRS members agree with it. Official announcements and statements from Central European University can exclusively be found here . 

We, the undersigned senior and junior members of, as well as students associated to the Center for Religious Studies at Central European University, feel that it is our duty to raise our voice, together with the UN and many thousands of people worldwide, concerning the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. We stand with all the innocent civilians in Israel and Palestine, thousands in number being killed and maimed, while millions are starved, lacking proper medical care, and suffering irreversible corporeal and psychological traumas. We are adding our feeble voice to all those institutions and individuals who are demanding the end to the attacks on unarmed civilians, men, women, children, and elderly, the immediate release of all the hostages, the cessation of the forced transfer in inhuman conditions of the Palestinian population in Gaza, and of the expulsions and killings of unarmed Palestinians in the ethnic cleansing ongoing in the West Bank. We are equally forcefully condemning the Hamas terrorist attacks and killings that have triggered the present war, their inhuman treatment of hostages, and Hamas’ practice of using the civilian population as human shields. We are horrified by the dehumanizing effects of this war, where the massacre of children and innocent civilians can be justified alternatively as “liberation movement,” or “collateral damage in a rightful self-defense,and by the subsequent rise of antisemitism and Islamophobia throughout the world. Together with the UN General Assembly, we are calling for an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities.We expect the international community to exert pressure on the warring parties to stop this folly and go back to the negotiating table. A durable political solution needs to be found now, supported by international bodies. 

István Perczel, Professor, Department of Medieval Studies, Director of the CRS 

Zsolt Enyedi, Professor, Department of Political Studies, Member of the CRS Executive Committee 

Gábor Klaniczay, Professor, Department of Medieval Studies 

Istvan Bodnár, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy

Nikola Pantic, Visiting Research Fellowship 

Rohan Basu, PhD in Comparative History 

Mustafa Kok, MA in Comparative History: 

Juan Manuel Rubio Arevalo, PhD in Medieval Studies 

Leila Shavandi, MA in Comparative History 

Davide Politi, MA in Comparative History 

Ruben Zeeman, MA in Comparative History 

Gulrano Ataeva, PhD in Comparative History 

Ivan Milekovic, MA in Medieval Studies