The following motion was approved in the session of the Governing Council  of the Scuola Normale Superiore on Tuesday 28 November 2023.

Pisa, 29 november 2023. The Scuola Normale Superiore is eyeing with apprehension the resurgence of the Israel-Palestine conflict, sparked off on 7th October 2023 with the terrorist attack by Hamas to the detriment of the Israeli civilian population and proceeding with the Israeli Gaza Strip offensive, which has taken on the proportions of a collective punishment and which is creating a serious humanitarian crisis.

As a member of the Rete Italiana delle Università per la Pace (the Italian University Network for Peace), and in line with the principles sanctioned by Article 11 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic, the Scuola Normale Superiore repudiates war as a means of denial of the freedom of peoples, and is committed to the promotion of the values of peace, international co-operation and respect for the fundamental human rights. The said commitment is also reflected in its support of the Scholars at Risk network, which operates for the protection of academic freedom worldwide and in the framework of whose activities the Scuola Normale Superiore is open to requests for reception and collaboration coming from scholars working in contexts of conflict or repression.

In the face of the episodes of antisemitism and islamophobia which, as a result of the atrocities of the last few weeks, are on the increase also in Europe, the Scuola Normale Superiore reiterates what was already emphasised by the CRUI (the Council of Rectors of the Italian Universities) on 19th October 2023: universities are by definition places of meeting and dialogue between cultures, as well as the promotion of awareness and the development of critical thinking that are indispensable for the construction of any peace process whatsoever.

In consideration of what is stated above, the Academic Senate of the Scuola Normale Superiore:

  • condemns the terrorist attack carried out by Hamas on 7th October 2023, and hopes for the immediate release of the hostages taken on that occasion;
  • condemns the indiscriminate military response of the Israeli government and hopes for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip;
  • expresses the solidarity of the academic community with all civilian victims of the conflict and their families;
  • pronounces itself in favour of a peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and acknowledges as necessary conditions the cessation of Israel's settlement policies in the occupied territories of Transjordan and East Jerusalem, the de facto Israeli control over the Gaza Strip, and every form of segregation to the detriment of the Palestinian population;
  • condemns any manifestation whatsoever of antisemitism or islamophobia, refuting at the same time the rhetoric seeking to label as antisemitism any critical stance whatsoever regarding the actions of the Israeli governments;
  • coherently with the actions undertaken in relation to other conflicts, expresses the willingness of the Scuola Normale to accept requests for collaboration on the part of Palestinian or Israeli scholars at risk of physical peril and/or whose academic freedom is threatened; furthermore, it commits itself to considering the suspension of its collaboration activities with any university that declares publicly and officially its support for an indiscriminate military response against the Palestinian territories, or for the terrorist attack of 7th October 2023; this does not rule out the possibility of individual agreements for the  mobility of research personnel  belonging to such universities;
  • confers to the Director the mandate to take on the role of spokesperson at any institutional site, and in particular at the CRUI and to discuss with the Minister for Universities and Research, as well as with his Italian and non-Italian counterparts, the standpoints expressed in the motion herein;
  • arranges the publication of the text of the motion herein on the web site of the Scuola Normale, as well as its dissemination via other media channels of the same.