BIAJS Public Statement on Ukraine

BIAJS condemns the Russian state’s invasion of Ukraine. In particular, we stand in solidarity with Ukrainian academics and university students, both those who are now defending their home, families and country against Russian state aggression, and those who are becoming refugees.

We recognise that both Russia and Ukraine, including the regions directly under attack, are places of central historic and continued importance to Jewish life and heritage. Directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, science and medical care and against historic monuments is defined as a war crime under the Rome Statute. As scholars whose community includes researchers of the Holocaust and antisemitism, we reject the Russian government’s claim to be “de-Nazifying” Ukraine.

We draw attention to the statement by our peer organisation in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Association for Jewish Studies (UAJS): https://uajs.org.ua/en/news/help-ukraine-its-struggle-freedom-uajs-statement.

As an association that includes many scholars with expertise in the history of refugee experience, we call upon the British government and British and Irish universities to offer hospitality to refugees and to open short-term positions to Ukrainian scholars and students at risk and increase their support for the Council for At-Risk Academics https://www.cara.ngo/. We urge our governments and universities to offer support to Russian academics and students who face consequences for speaking out against the invasion.

This is a critical moment and we call on all the members of our Association and on centres of Jewish Studies, to help Ukraine by any means that are available to them.

 

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