Open letter to TU/e board: break the silence on Palestine

TU/e students and employees (some of whose names are known to the editorial staff) have written an open letter to the Executive Board (EB). In this letter they express their dissatisfaction about the board's silence on the war in Palestine. They also present a list of demands. The letter has now been signed 581 times, including many people from outside TU/e.

photo Joel Carillet / istock

Yesterday, on May 9th, the open letter was published online. "We, as students and employees of Eindhoven University of technology (TU/e), are writing to express our deep concern and disapproval of the university’s indifference and silence in the face of the ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza," the letter begins. 

The discontent from the TU/e community is based not only on the current situation in Gaza, but also on “the 75-year history of brutal settler colonial and military occupation of Palestine” and “collective punishment imposed on the civilian population across all Palestinian land” according to the letter.

International Court of Justice

On January 26, 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled "that the attack on the Palestinian people plausibly constitutes genocide under the Genocide Convention", the writers state. This treaty came into force in 1951 following World War II and focuses on preventing and punishing genocide. The open letter reads, “this ruling requires all the signatory states of the genocide convention, including the Netherlands, to prevent the crime of genocide."


It also expresses grave concerns about the attack on Palestine's academic landscape. "Based on an UN statement over 625,000 students and 22,564 teachers have been deprived of education and a safe place, and thousands of education personnel have been killed."

TU/e-Israel ties

According to the letter, TU/e has several institutional and financial ties with Israel in the form of research partnerships (“in particular partnerships with Israeli universities and companies that work on military projects”) and academic collaborations. The letter provides a list of the most relevant ties, in detail and including sources.

Comparison Ukraine

Two years ago, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, TU/e took swift measures. These included publicly condemning the invasion on behalf of the EB, expressing solidarity with Ukraine, raising the Ukrainian flag, providing affected students and employees with mental and financial assistance, and raising money for charities. The writers of the letter demand the same approach regarding the current situation. "The ongoing humanitarian catastrophe inflicted on the civilian population in Gaza, demands similar attention and action on part of the TU/e."


The letter ends by stating seven demands. These read as follows:

  • "Publicly condemn and call for an end to the genocide that is being perpetrated by Israel in Gaza, Palestine."
  • "Disclose a comprehensive list of current institutional and financial ties with Israeli institutions."
  • "Cut all ties with Israeli institutions that are complicit in genocide, apartheid and occupation of Palestine."
  • "Issue a public statement condemning the Israeli onslaught of Palestinian universities, schools and other institutions of higher education and the killing of academics, teachers and students [...]."
  • "Create emergency fellowships for researchers, educators and students from [...] Palestine who are interested in coming to work or study in the Netherlands."
  • "Build partnerships with Palestinian universities and academics [...]."
  • "Issue a statement directed to ABP and call for transparency and divestment from companies directly and indirectly complicit in genocide, apartheid and occupation of Palestine."

Click here for the full letter, list of ties between TU/e and Israel, and resource list.

Executive Board response

Due to the closing of the university during Ascension and the subsequent bridge day and weekend days, the Executive Board issued a response Monday, May 13, which can be read on the TU/e website.

Let us know: what do you think?

We would like to know what our community thinks about this. 1) What do you think about the situation? 2) Do you think the Executive Board should take a stand? Tell us your opinion and explain it in no more than 150 words. Please include name and position (student, employee, alumnus, etc.)

The deadline is Tuesday May 14, at 10 a.m. Please send your response to the Cursor editorial staff: Cursor will publish a selection of the submitted responses later that day. No correspondence about placement will be entered into.

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