VUB and Hannah Arendt Institute call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

In a joint statement, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and the Hannah Arendt Institute have called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. They "unequivocally side with international law" and call on Belgium and the EU to take action.

“The unprecedented escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas is taking a devastating toll on civilians,” the statement issued on Monday said. “We are calling for an immediate ceasefire to put an end to the rising number of civilian deaths and to enable humanitarian aid."

War crimes and crimes against humanity committed by all parties should be investigated and tried by the International Criminal Court, they say, and call on European leaders to take action against the root causes of recurring violence between Palestine and Israel.

German-born American historian and political philosopher Hannah Arendt in 1966. © ART RESOURCE, NEW YORK, HANNAH ARENDT BLUECHER LITERARY TRUST
German-born American historian and political philosopher Hannah Arendt in 1966. © ART RESOURCE, NEW YORK, HANNAH ARENDT BLUECHER LITERARY TRUST

Their joint statement says it is essential that people inform themselves about the history of the conflict and use social media cautiously.

"Not everyone sees the same content online. Social media platforms are programmed to offer individuals siloed and increasingly extreme content," they say. "There are many fake messages and fake videos circulating, depicting old footage, wrong locations or a combination. Remain critical and cautious of what you see."

They also warn against increasing polarisation. "Different population groups are facing heightened distrust and reinforced prejudice because of the conflict," they say. "There is real fear of growing antisemitism and Muslim hatred. Continue to fight against lumping entire groups of people together."

The Hannah Arendt Institute is an initiative of the VUB and Antwerp University, with support from the city of Mechelen. KU Leuven, Ghent University and Hasselt University are also involved.

At the end of October, more than 700 academics, researchers and students published an open letter calling on the five Flemish universities to take a clear position and condemn the violence in the Middle East.



Related news

Website preview
Israel reopens southern Gaza escape route
The Israeli military has announced that it will reopen an escape route for civilians in the northern part of the Gaza Strip on Monday. This is...
Website preview
De Croo: 'What is happening in Gaza today is no longer proportionate'
Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo condemned the situation in Gaza on Monday at a gathering of diplomats in Brussels. "What is happening in...

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels