Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Statement from the Executive Board on the violence in Israel and Gaza

9 October 2023 - Like many others, we were horrified to learn of the violence that erupted in Israel and Gaza over the weekend of 7 and 8 October. We hope that the hostilities will end soon.

This conflict affects Leiden University in various ways, which is why we are sharing this statement with you.

People in the area

Five of our students who were in Israel are now safely home. Other students who were about to travel to Israel have postponed or cancelled their trip. A negative travel advisory is in place for Israel and the border areas including Gaza. As far as we know, no university staff are currently in the area.

Different opinions

We can imagine that the outbreak of violence in Israel and Gaza has affected many members of our community. This may be because of personal ties, certain beliefs or feelings of anxiety and upset that arise when we are faced with violent conflict.

Armed conflicts provoke discussion and emotions can run high. Leiden University has always encouraged open debate but in a manner befitting an academic community: with respect for others, even if your opinions differ. Hate speech, violence and bigotry will not be tolerated by the university under any circumstances: we cannot be clear enough about this. The university wants to be a safe place for its entire community.


We can imagine that the escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza has caused feelings of anger and anxiety. Staff who feel they need to talk about this can discuss it with their supervisor. Students can contact our student pyschologists (see below).

Our sympathies go out to everyone involved in this conflict and like them we hope that the violence will end soon. Let’s continue to treat one another with respect at our university. We owe that to ourselves as an academic community.

Out of respect for all the victims of this conflict, we hung flags at half-mast on our university buildings on 10 October.

Annetje Ottow, Hester Bijl and Martijn Ridderbos
Executive Board

More information on support at the university

If you are a student who has been directly or indirectly affected by the events in Israel, please drop in at The Meeting Point in Leiden or The Hague.

Meeting Point, Plexus Student Centre Leiden: Thursday 13.30-15.30, Friday 11.00-13.00.
Meeting Point/POPcorner, Beehive Student Centre The Hague: Tuesday 12.00-14.00.

Support for staff
If you are a staff member who needs extra support, please contact the Health, Safety and Environment secretariat at 071 527 8015.

This website uses cookies.