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The Learned Society joins the call condemning anti-Semitism

Prof. David Jan Novotný of the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University and Dr Věra Tydlitátová of the Faculty of Arts of The University of West Bohemia have formulated an appeal to their colleagues in which they warn against the growing anti-Semitism and ask the competent institutions to confront prejudiced hatred with all legal means. The Learned Society joins this appeal.

A few days ago, we also published a letter from Israeli rectors on the same subject in a global context, in which they call on the European and American academic community to oppose the relativisation of Hamas terrorist acts and to distinguish between constructive debate on a complex issue on the one hand and destructive propaganda on the other.

Prague, 9 November 2023

Dear Colleagues,

We academics from various disciplines feel concerned about the rise of anti-Semitism and strongly urge that all legal steps be taken against any manifestations of hatred.

It is no secret that, especially on Western campuses, verbal as well as physical attacks on students and professors of Jewish origin or religion are on the rise, often with the passive acquiescence of the administration of these institutions.

We are very indignant that similar manifestations are beginning to appear in our universities. We are also angry that posters commemorating the Jewish victims of the 7 October 2023 pogrom are being torn down. At many pro-Palestinian demonstrations, as well as on social media, we hear and read unequivocally anti-Jewish slogans and calls for the genocide of the Jewish citizens of Israel, hiding under the propaganda slogan 'Palestine from the river to the sea'. Many of our university students are also involved in these activities.

We thank all our colleagues who are showing solidarity with their Jewish colleagues and with the victims of the October pogrom in these sad days.

We ask all competent institutions and the management of schools, faculties and departments not to allow the spread of prejudiced hatred, often disguised as anti-Zionism or as criticism of capitalism or colonialism. Of course, we assume that they will do the same towards any manifestations of intolerance against anyone.

The tragedy of 7 October 2023 is so fundamental that it is impossible to passively stand by and pretend that hate speech is an expression of freedom of speech or academic dialogue. We remember well that mob hysteria led to the disgusting Reich pogrom in 1938, which has gone down in history as Kristallnacht, during which synagogues, Jewish shops and businesses were burned down all over Germany, but also in Czechoslovakia. The victims of this rampage are remembered today with grave concern lest something similar happen in the future.

Thank you for your understanding

Prof. MgA. David Jan Novotný FSV UK

Mgr. Věra Tydlitátová, Ph.D. FF ZČU

Council of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic

  • Prof. RNDr. Libor Grubhoffer, CSc. - President
  • Prof. RNDr. Martin Loebl, CSc. - 1st Vice president
  • Prof. Mgr. Pavel Jungwirth, DSc. - 2nd Vice president
  • RNDr. Ivo Starý, CSc. - Scientific Secretary
  • RNDr. Šárka Nečasová, DSc. - Chair of the 1st Section of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • Prof. Ing. Michal Hocek, CSc., DSc. - Chairman of Section II. of Chemical Sciences
  • Prof. MUDr. Michal Anděl, CSc. - Chairman of the III. Section of Biological-Medical sciences
  • Prof. Lenka Karfíková, Dr. theol. - Chair of the IV. Section of Social Sciences and Humanities

Other members of the Learned Society are also joining the call (we are continuously updating the list). Since a majority of members have already signed the appeal, its support is the position of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic as a whole:

  • Prof. MUDr. Jiřina Bartůňková, DrSc., MBA
  • Prof. RNDr. Jiří Bičák, DrSc., dr. h. c.
  • Prof. Ing. Jiří Čejka, DrSc.
  • Prof. Mgr. Jiří Damborský, Dr.
  • Prof. Ing. Doležel Jaroslav, DrSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Pavel Drábek, DrSc.
  • Prof. Ing. Jiří Drahoš, DrSc., dr. h. c.
  • Ing. František Foret, CSc.
  • RNDr. Jiří Grygar, CSc.
  • Prof. PhDr. Eva Hajičová, DrSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Chytrý Milan, Ph.D.
  • Prof. RNDr. Helena Illnerová, DrSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Marian Karlický, DrSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Petr Klán, Ph.D.
  • Prof. RNDr. Jan Konvalinka, CSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Roman Kotecký, DrSc
  • Prof. RNDr. Igor Kříž, CSc.
  • RNDr. Jan Květ, CSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Rupert Leitner, DrSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Jan Lepš, CSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Julius Lukeš, CSc.
  • Prof. MUDr. Milan Macek, DrSc, M.H.A.
  • doc. PhDr. Jan Němeček, DrSc.
  • Prof. PhDr. Zdeněk R.Nešpor, Ph.D.
  • Prof. RNDr. Vojtěch Novotný, CSc.
  • Prof.  MUDr. Bohuslav Ošťádal, DrSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Jan Palouš, DrSc.
  • Prof. PhDr. Jiři Pešek, CSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Tomáš Polívka, Ph.D.
  • Prof. Martin Prudký, Dr.
  • Prof. RNDr. Petr Pyšek, CSc. 
  • Prof. Ing. Tomáš Roubíček, DrSc.
  • Prof. PhDr., Ing. Jan Royt, PhD., DSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Blanka Říhová, DrSc.
  • Prof. David Storch, Ph.D.
  • Prof. PhDr. František Šmahel, DrSc., dr. h. c.
  • Ing. Vladimír Špirko, DrSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Jiří Šponer, DrSc.
  • Prof. MUDr. Jan J. Štěpán, DrSc.
  • Prof. MUDr. Helena Tlaskalová – Hogenová, DrSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Jan Trlifaj, CSc., DSc.
  • Prof. MUDr. Marek Trněný, CSc.
  • Prof.  Bedřich Velický, CSc.
  • Prof. RNDr. Eva Zažímalová, CSc.