Nov 14, 2023

Czech Academics Unite Against Rise of Anti-Semitism

Representatives from over thirty Czech universities have joined forces and signed a letter, calling on authorities and academic leaders to combat the rise of anti-Semitism within the academic sphere, emphasising the need for decisive legal measures against any expressions of hatred.

The appeal addresses concerns about the tearing down of posters commemorating the Jewish victims from the 7 October kidnappings, denouncing the violent invasion by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

The letter condemns anti-Jewish slogans and calls for the genocide of Jewish citizens, both of which were allegedly heard at pro-Palestinian demonstrations and on social media.

“Many students of our universities are also involved in these activities,” they said in the letter seen by the Czech News Agency.

In the appeal, the authors reject passive acceptance of hate speech, asserting that it cannot be disguised as freedom of speech or academic dialogue.

“We ask all competent institutions and the leadership of schools, faculties and departments not to allow the spread of prejudiced hatred often disguised as anti-Zionism or criticism of capitalism or colonialism. Of course, we assume that they will act in the same way towards any manifestations of intolerance against anyone,” the text reads.

Additionally, the appeal issues a warning against a repetition of history, citing Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany in 1938, where synagogues, Jewish shops, and businesses were targeted.

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According to Palestinian authorities, Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip has claimed the lives of more than 11,000 people, including more than 4,600 children. Thousands more remain missing.

Gaza is becoming a “graveyard for children”, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said earlier this month.

Moreover, this week Doctors Without Borders issued a statement calling on Israeli authorities to stop attacks against hospitals.

“We urgently reiterate our calls to stop the attacks against hospitals, for an immediate ceasefire and for the protection of medical facilities, medical staff and patients”, they said.

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