Response Executive Board: "This is not a political institution"

On Monday, May 13 the Executive Board (EB) released a response, to the May 9 open letter demanding, among other things, solidarity with Palestine and cutting ties with Israel. In the response, the EB does not address the majority of the demands made in the letter, but emphasizes that there is always room for dialogue. “As always, the Executive Board’s door is open for conversation with all.”

photo Freekje Groenemans

"As the Executive Board, we are concerned about the events in Gaza and Israel. It is terrible to see people in the conflict zone suffering from the violence that began on October 7, 2023," the response begins. 


In the text, the EB emphasized that it understands “the emotions and engagement underlying the open letter of May 9” and that there is always room for dialogue as long as it is respectful.

However, the university will not take a stand. "This is not the role of the university. TU/e is not a political institution," it reads. It also says that taking a stand could lead to polarization and exclusion of parties, which the EB would like to avoid.

Ties Israel

Also mentioned are scientific collaborations with Israel. "This always concerns research to make the world a better place. Regarding any ‘dual use’ knowledge, we adhere to the National Guidelines for the Security of Knowledge." The EB emphasizes, "It is worth keeping in mind that Israeli universities and their employees do not coincide with the government that funds them. More than anyone, they can contribute actively to dialogue in Israel, so it is important to maintain ties with them."

Education conflict area

For the demand in the open letter to build partnerships with Palestinian universities and academics, the EB points to umbrella organization Universities of the Netherlands (UNL). Together with universities, they seek opportunities to rebuild knowledge institutions in the “conflict zone” and educational opportunities for remote refugee students and researchers.

In conclusion, the EB does not address the majority of the demands made in the open letter and those of the protesters who set up a tent camp on 'de Groene Loper' today.

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