More than 350 students, PhD candidates, teachers, staff members and alumni are calling on TU Delft to boycott academic activities with institutions that support the military operations in Gaza. They are also asking for a physical space on the campus where students and staff can talk with others about the situation in the Middle East.
‘We ... are writing to express our profound concern regarding the ongoing violence in Palestine and Israel, and call for an immediate ceasefire ... every moment counts’, write the initiators in a letter to the Executive Board.
‘As engineers and future engineers, we are ethically responsible for the impact of our inventions and technologies’, they state. They thus urge TU Delft to suspect academic collaboration with Israeli institutions and partners that directly or indirectly support military operations.
They refer to ties TU Delft has with TNO, Lockheed Martin and Thales. Companies that collaborate with parties that make contributions to the Israeli military, according to a Stop Wapenhandel (stop the trade in weapons) report (in Dutch) released in 2021. The writers of the letter would like TU Delft to stop knowledge-sharing with these companies for the time being and examine how it can cooperate responsibly in the long term.
The Executive Board has not yet responded to this request. In a response to the letter, it does state that ‘The conflict evokes strong emotions in all of us. Some of us may even know people there. We see photos in the media. These terrible images touch us deeply. It is important to share our feelings with each other. We may not be able to solve the conflict ourselves, but we can think about and try to understand each other.’
Regarding the last comment, TU Delft is facilitating this by holding two share & care sessions in the living room of the X sports and cultural centre. The group considers the reaction and support of TU Delft in response to the situation inadequate and will therefore hold a teach-in in the square room at Pulse on Friday 3 November from 12:00.