We are deeply saddened by the loss of innocent lives in Gaza and Israel, and the fate of hostages. We understand this is a hugely difficult and distressing time, particularly for students and staff with connections to the region.

The University has zero tolerance of all forms of racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, unlawful discrimination, and abuse, including based on ethno-religious identity. In the present context, it should be noted that under the UK Terrorism Act 2000, support for a 'proscribed organisation' is a criminal offence; since November 2021, this includes Hamas.

Sources of support

The events in Palestine and Israel and the loss of innocent lives are extremely distressing. As a University, we're focused on the well-being of our people – the students and staff in our community. It’s more important than ever that we try to draw together as a community and support each other at a time like this.

Support for staff and students affected by events in Israel and Gaza

Freedom of speech and academic freedom

In keeping with other universities across the UK, our priority is to ensure that Cambridge remains safe for all our students and staff. The University is fully committed to freedom of speech within the law. It is very important that we enable and support students and staff to debate and discuss these events, and their wider context. This might involve raising and addressing some challenging issues. The University expects all staff and students to engage with intellectual and ideological challenges in a constructive, questioning and peaceable way, even if they find the viewpoints expressed to be disagreeable, unwelcome or distasteful. The right of staff and students to freedom of assembly, and to protest against certain viewpoints, should not obstruct the ability of others to exercise their lawful freedom of expression. You can read a message from Vice-Chancellor Debbie Prentice.