Independent journalism about VU Amsterdam | Since 1953
18 April 2024

Campus
& Culture

Teach-in about Gaza not allowed on campus

The teach-in 'Gaza in Context', which would take place on 17 November in the main building, has been moved away from the campus.

The event, organized by employees of the faculties of Humanities, Law and Social Sciences will feature various speakers, including Sara Rachdan. She was at the centre of the commotion during the recent Amsterdam climate march. Yolande Jansen, VU professor of Humanism in Relation to Religion and Secularity is also featured in the programme.

For the event to take place at VU Amsterdam, the university imposed certain conditions. According to VU Amsterdam, they did not reach an agreement with the organisers, turning the teach-in into a ‘teach-out’. This teach-out will take place on 17 November at 17:30 and is facilitated by The Black Archives in the Zeeburg area.

‘While there is space for activism in the public sphere, within the university walls we want to focus on a dialogue that is aimed at sharing knowledge, at increasing mutual understanding, by listening to each other. In doing so, guaranteeing (social) safety and preventing further polarisation within our academic community is a fundamental prerequisite’, writes VU Amsterdam in a statement.

Professor of Global History Pepijn Brandon, co-chair of the teach-out, recently said universities should be ashamed “that the whole society can discuss it, except at universities. Universities are forsaking their academic duty this way.” He signed a letter which says universities should take a stance against Israel, alongside other Jewish academics and students. Former executive board president Mirjam van Praag signed a different letter, which states that universities are unsafe for Jewish people.

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