Statement on Palestine

We, the EUI Researchers’ Union, express profound concern regarding the EUI's silence in the face of the distressing events taking place in Israel and Palestine. The EUI, as an academic institution, has the responsibility to speak out on the settler colonial regime of Israel and its occupation of Palestine, especially in light of the escalation in violence since October 7th. We call on the EUI to do better, and to use its power and privilege to speak and act more specifically and critically to the suffering of Palestinians, and to better support those within its own community. 

For the invasion of Ukraine, the EUI made statements, organized academic and solidarity events, raised funds and donations, and created refugee and scholarship initiatives. For Palestine, the EUI released a disappointing statement, without any follow-up, referring abstractly to ‘the horrific events unfolding in the Middle East’. This betrays a troubling double standard and a disconcerting negligence on behalf of a university which, in that very statement, relates that the ‘role of academic dialogue in bridging cultural and international divides is a foundational principle of the EUI’. 

As the Union, we denounce the acts of genocide in Gaza carried out by the Israeli government and firmly support the Palestinians' right to live in peace and freedom. We call for an immediate ceasefire. We also reject anti-Semitism and the conflation of anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism. 

We urge for the release of all Israeli captives held in Gaza and all political prisoners held in Israel. 

As the Union, we also urge the EUI to improve its efforts and leverage its influence to address the Palestinian suffering more explicitly. The EUI should prioritize tolerance, engage in considered deliberation, and educate its community without endorsing a singular discourse and by establishing platforms for research and open dialogues regarding settler colonialism, injustice, and the path toward ending the occupation of Palestine. 

The horrific footage and distressing stories obviously affect us all. We acknowledge the gravity of the situation and would like to express our concern for and sympathy with everyone who feels personally involved because they have relatives, friends or other connections to the region. With this regard, we also ask the EUI to commit to provide better support to those affected within our academic community

During times like these, people need to unite, voice their apprehensions, and freely express their views and sentiments. It is vital to safeguard and uphold the principles of freedom of association and speech. As members of the union and as academics, we collectively carry the duty of ensuring that our involvement is characterized by respect, inclusivity, and a commitment to diversity. We have faith that each individual will contribute to fostering an open, considerate, and well-informed discourse. While we have the freedom to hold diverse viewpoints, it is of utmost importance not to disregard or undermine the emotions or experiences of others, and to refrain from any form of discrimination. We hope the EUI will commit to upholding democratic governance principles, which includes safeguarding the right to protest and the expression of various perspectives, with the active participation of all relevant stakeholders.


To join an open and critical discussion on these matters, please consider joining an interdepartmental roundtable on Israel-Palestine on 07.11.2023 organized by the EUI’s Working Group on Palestine, in collaboration with many other working groups.

Because our academic life is based in Florence, we would also like to draw everyone’s attention to the statement made by our friends from Non Una Di Meno, which also speaks more directly to the Italian context in this debate. Their transfeminist perspective and work have been an inspiration to us and we call on all of our members to join them on 25.11.2023 for the Corte Nazionale in Rome!

You can find a translated version of the statement below:

Translated statement from Non Una Di Meno

“At one point, me and my family I were sitting having lunch when there was violent shelling and dust and stones filled the house, everyone running, and we didn't know where. Then the house next to us was bombed and its inhabitants were bombed. Suddenly, everyone was shouting for help from under the rubble. Here, I lost communication with my family and with all of us. A place and a state of terror and panic. What was happening? Then we decided to leave our house. Everyone was running through the streets and nobody knew where we were going. Everyone was in a state of confusion.”


Message from Randa, a Palestinian comrade now in Gaza


We took some time to reflect on what has been happening in Israel and Palestine these past few days and attempt to give an interpretation from a transfeminist perspective. Our reflection was nourished by the occupation of the squares for the Palestinian cause organized all over Italy, which were beautiful and powerful moments.


We are not at all stupified by what is happening in Israel and Palestine these last days: we believe we cannot because it would mean not recognizing the weight of more than 75 years of Israel’s occupation policy  and the devastation of the Palestinian territories and the consequences of 16 years of military siege and total blockade of the Gaza Strip. 


The foundations on which the Israeli state is based are those of religious nationalism and settler colonialism, which uses the tool of apartheid to keep inside and outside the borders an entire section of the population under control by depriving it of human, civil and political rights. This predatory and bloodthirsty occupation continues to cause deaths with the total support of Western imperialism, which is complicit in the massacres perpetrated and in all subsequent occupations, expulsions and expropriations of Palestinian territories, which have relegated a population to live in an open-air prison despite repeated complaints of violations of international law.


The arrest of Mariam Abou Daqqa in Marseille and the unbelievable censorship and criminalization targeting those who express a perspective not aligned with the wicked narrative of Netanyahu’s government and its Western supporters demonstrate the extent to which so-called democracies are willing to resort to repressive strategies to defend their economic interests.  Within this framework, Italy has never shied away from expressing its political and economic proximity to Israel, and to this day it continues to fuel the conflict by sending weapons through Italian military bases. 


In the mainstream media, the narrative has not done anything other than spreading a distorted view of reality in which Israel is portrayed as an oppressed and attacked state while silencing internal opposition. This is the culmination of a propaganda strategy that for years has sought to normalize our country's relations with the state of Israel: a fascist, imperialist, racist and colonizing state. Constantly emphasizing Israel's right to defend itself and instead accepting that millions of people are forced to live in inhumane conditions is hypocritical and serves to hide the ongoing agreements and relations with a racist and colonial government.


We want to be able to say that we are on the side of the Palestinian people, without holding this stringent "either with Israel or with Hamas" dichotomy, because we believe it is dangerous and functional to the Western propaganda narrative. This simplistic narrative depoliticizes complex situations that are systematically exploited to justify crimes, genocides, dispossessions, and military occupations.


At the present time the colonial and fascist state of Israel is taking advantage of the attack carried out by Hamas forces to completely eliminate the population of Gaza, and this we cannot allow. This strategy is consistent with a "logic of elimination" and ethnic cleansing aimed at replacing a native and indigenous population with that of the settlers. This happened in 1948, the Nakba, with more than 800,000 Palestinian people taken out from their homes and it is happening again with Israel's demand to move civilians to the south of the Gaza Strip, a continuing Nakba.


The Gaza Strip, separated from the West Bank and the other territories of the historic Palestine occupied by Israel in 1948, is in fact a completely isolated and segregated reality and has become virtually inaccessible even to diplomatic personnel, journalists and foreign comrades.


Partly through the testimonies and stories of comrades in Palestine, we know that Palestinian women and LGBTQIA+ people struggle against a triple oppression, of class, gender and colonial, in an extreme situation layered in the violence and pain of permanent military occupation. We also know that the Palestinian political forces themselves do not support the struggles of women and LGBTQIA+ people, and that patriarchy exists in Palestine as in the rest of the world. We reject, however, that this should be exploited to justify a spread of Islamophobia that is rampant throughout the West. While we are in no position to judge a complex situation that, as we have always said and will continue to say is a direct and exclusive consequence of the colonial occupation of the state of Israel, we recognize how colonialism is the main source of internal patriarchy. It will be the Palestinian people who will decide on their future and choose from whom to defend themselves and how to self-determine, in a free Palestine that we all hope to see soon. We are convinced that there cannot be a Free Palestine without freedom for women and LGBTQIA+ people, but we also know that there cannot be freedom for LGBTQIA+ women and people without a Palestine free from Israeli occupation.


We are for an immediate end to the Israeli attack, as well as the release of the hostages held in Gaza and prisoners in Israeli jails. We stand with all women, LGBTQIA+ people and individuals who daily fight and organize against patriarchal and nationalist violence.


We are for the boycott of Israeli-sourced goods.


For the past 8 years we have been building the November 25 national march against patriarchal violence as a free and open space for anyone to fight for their self-determination. A space therefore available to women and LGBTQIA+ people from Palestine and everywhere else in the world, fighting against all oppression. 


The comrades* of the Palestinian feminist movement Tal'at, which means, "we come out" conjugated in the feminine plural in Arabic, in 2019 shouted throughout historic Palestine that there cannot be a free Palestine unless Palestinian women are finally free (Free Women in a Free Palestine_ وطن حر نساء حرة.)


Patriarchy and colonialism are two sides of the same coin.


Let's stop the ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Palestinian people!


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