Protests, Slogans, and Free Speech on Campus

At TU Delft we have seen a number of student-led pro-Palestinian protests over the past months. Similar protests are happening on campuses across the Netherlands, Europe, and North America.

Today, on the cusp of the exam period and the summer break, we will host a lecture and discussion that reflects on these protests – on the context and history behind the slogans that are used, the demands that are made, and their social impact. According to TU Delft policy, “discriminatory, offensive, or inflammatory” slogans, and protesting while wearing face coverings, are banned on campus. But why are slogans like “from the river to the sea” so controversial? Why do some people who are Jewish or pro-Israel feel excluded, unheard, and even unsafe in light of the protests?

Our speaker today is David Wertheim, cultural historian and director of the Menasseh ben Israel Institute for Jewish Studies in Amsterdam. He is the author of the 2022 book Waar gaat het over als het over Joden gaat? (literal translation: “What are people talking about when they talk about Jews?”). The Q&A will be led by Filippo Santoni, Associate Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Technology, TU Delft.

We invite everyone to join in this conversation. Together, we will ask: how can we support causes that are dear to us while leaving space for others to express themselves? And what is the wider significance of what is happening on campus today?

Please come prepared to engage in respectful discussion. It is not allowed to wear a mask. If you do not want to be photographed, please let us know on the day.

There will be vegan sandwiches, orange juice, coffee and tea.

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