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The heads of the Israeli Academy address their colleagues all over the world: Condemn the terrible massacre of October 7th

The Israel National Academy of Sciences, the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education and the National Science Foundation in a joint appeal to the heads of the academic and scientific community around the world and requests that they call for the immediate release of the abductees, prevent incitement and preserve the safety of Israeli and Jewish students and faculty * At the same time, an appeal was made to the United Nations by Hundreds of researchers from Israel and the world

Tel Aviv, October 28, 2023 - Israeli citizens demonstrate in solidarity with the families of the abductees. Kaplan Street, Tel Aviv. Photo 295351132 © Engin Korkmaz |
Tel Aviv, October 28, 2023 - Israeli citizens demonstrate in solidarity with the families of the abductees. Kaplan Street, Tel Aviv. Photo 295351132 © Engin Korkmaz |

Prof. David Harel, President of the Israel National Academy of Sciences, Prof. Yossi Makori, Chairman of the National Science Foundation, and Prof. Daniel Zeifman, Chairman of the Academic Board of the National Science Foundation, today sent a letter to their colleagues - the heads of the academic and scientific community around the world, calling for action against The difficult phenomena that are discovered on campuses around the world:

"Recently, demonstrations of support for Hamas have multiplied and spread alarmingly around the world, often on academic campuses, and sometimes they are accompanied by demands for the destruction of Israel... We call on you, the heads of academia, science and research organizations, our colleagues around the world, first to condemn the terrible massacre of October 7 Public and unequivocal condemnation, and secondly to call for the immediate release of all the abductees held in Gaza. In addition, we implore you to take every possible measure to prevent dangerous incitement activities in your institutions, and to protect the safety of Israeli and Jewish students and faculty who may be targets of revenge actions."

The letter also stated, "The current situation affects science and the higher education system in Israel. Dozens of the murdered and abducted are Israeli students and researchers, and many others were called up by emergency order for reserve service. And if that is not enough, even among those who are not directly affected by the situation, the pursuit of scientific knowledge has been replaced by existential concerns. The long-term effects of this situation may reverberate far beyond the borders of Israel and their results will be felt in the entire international scientific community."

The letter also states that "in order to protect the future of the State of Israel, it is necessary to maintain the delicate fabric of coexistence and mutual trust that has been built over the years between Jewish citizens and non-Jewish citizens." To this end, according to the authors of the letter, a serious effort must be made immediately to put down the flames, with the pro-active support of the heads of the universities and colleges, otherwise there is a real danger of the flare-up of destructive violence.

The letter was sent to the heads of national peer science academies around the world, to heads of international science organizations and representatives of other international institutions.

To read the Hebrew text

The Academy calls on the UN: to act for the release of the abductees

(Bar-Ilan University)

400 of the top Israeli and international academics, and about 700 other experts in the field, from a variety of disciplines and academic institutions, issued a call to the international community and the UN Secretary-General to act urgently for the immediate release of the Israeli children kidnapped in Gaza.

The signatories to the call include 30 researchers from Bar-Ilan University, including the dean of students, and the jurist Prof. Binyamin Shmueli: "It is absolutely clear that the rights of the children kidnapped by Hamas, as well as the rights of children whose family members were kidnapped, are being trampled upon and irreparable damage is being caused to them every minute that's going on" writes Prof. Shmauli, "I wonder how the UN, which is responsible for a magnificent convention on the rights of the child from 1989, to which most of the countries of the world have signed, does not take a minimal initiative in front of the Red Cross and other organizations to protect the rights of dozens of children, among them Toddlers who were abducted without their parents, who were abducted to Gaza and held in unconditional conditions by the terrorist organization Hamas? How does he not worry about their immediate release? How does he not take care of the meetings of the Red Cross with them? 

Where is the implementation of international law, which the UN and other countries that are guided by a double standard in their hostility towards Israel for years, simply do nothing? How is it possible that the UN does not change worlds in such a terrible case, which destroys the lives of children even now and threatens their development?"

The letter, which was signed by experts from around the world, details the events of October 7, the legal framework for the protection of children, especially during wartime, as well as the mental and developmental damage caused and continues to be caused to the children with each passing moment and they are still in captivity, some of them are toddlers who are alone in captivity. The experts emphasized in their letter that the severe and indescribable brutality experienced by the children and toddlers, which also included the murder of members of their immediate family in front of their eyes, creates a tangible danger to their mental and physical survival with every minute that passes and they are still held captive by the terrorist organization.

Among the signatories of the petition are the world's top experts in the fields of pediatrics, social work, psychology, criminology, law and public policy, from the world's leading universities, including Yale University, Duke University, Harvard, UCLA.

The letter, calling for the release of the 30 Israeli children held captive by Hamas, from the brutal attack of October 7, was drafted with the initiative and collaboration of expertise and senior experts from the leading academic institutions in Israel - the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Haifa University, the Technion, Bar-Ilan University and Ben Gurion in the Negev and below the families of the abducted and missing.

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