Joint Statement of the association of university heads, Israel and German U15
News vom 02.01.2024
In December 2023, leaders of the fifteen member universities of German U15 and of the nine Israeli research universities (VERA) met for a virtual exchange. This is the first time since the attacks of October 7 that a university association from another country has met with the Israeli university heads’ association, VERA.
The university leaders talked about the terrorist attacks by Hamas on October 7, the ongoing war, and the consequences for academic life in Israel. At the same time, they discussed ways to further intensify academic exchange and cooperation between Israel and Germany.
The German U15 universities once again assured their Israeli partners of their firm solidarity in these challenging times. There is a strong commitment to continue, extend, and intensify collaboration across a broad range of sciences and humanities with synergies from the academic excellence on both sides.
Both groups agreed to continue the exchange, and to plan a physical meeting in Israel as soon as the situation allows.
Prof. Michael Hoch, Rector of University of Bonn and Chair of German U15, said:
"We condemned Hamas' atrocious terrorist attacks on Israel in the strongest possible terms on the evening of October 7. We stand firmly by the Israeli universities, which are among our closest, most trusted and most important cooperation partners. With the same clarity we condemn all forms of antisemitism and take decisive action against it. We are very much looking forward to continuing the exchange with our Israeli colleagues as soon as possible, also in Israel."
Prof. Arie Zaban, president of Bar-Ilan University and chairman of the Association of University Heads in Israel, said:
"Together with the present challenges, we also look ahead to the future. For many years Israeli and German research has been intertwined and we have reached impressive breakthroughs.
We welcome the intention of our German friends to act to expand and strengthen further academic collaborations within the increased support of university presidents and governments.
We thank you for announcing that you intend to pay a solidarity visit to Israel in the near future and for supporting us, especially during this time."