The violence and killings of civilians in Israel and the subsequent military response by Israel causing the injury, displacement, and death of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have shaken the BAICE community. Many of our academic, practitioner and student members have been affected by these brutal acts. Even more disconcerting is the absence of any imminent de-escalation. The Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and President of BAICE would like to express empathy to those who are enduring pain and trauma – in particular, academics, educators and students living in or with connections to the region – and call upon academic communities to advocate for a peaceful conflict transformation. This must start with educational processes that foster dialogue and understanding in the pursuit of a just and lasting peace.
BAICE’s legal remit as a charity is to promote the advancement of knowledge, research and teaching in international and comparative education. But as academics committed to equity and social justice in and through education, we acknowledge our role in shaping opinions through how we support the generation and dissemination of knowledge. We believe that this must be informed by critical understanding of complex historical realities, structural conditions, and the longstanding occupation of Palestinian territories. These understandings can only be reached through dialogue. We know we can become overwhelmed by fear, anger, and grief, observing deaths of civilians including children, elderly and the sick. But as learning communities we must continue to promote and protect academic freedom by defending, creating and engaging in spaces that support this dialogue, and where people can speak on behalf of those who are powerless and have become the victims of violence.
We are committed to listening to and learning from colleagues who have the relevant academic expertise in this conflict, who can share insights with the wider community. We therefore invite expressions of interest from BAICE members to collaborate on the creation of a space – perhaps through our international seminar series – where critical and constructive dialogue around the situation can be facilitated. Please contact email@example.com.