Press Portal

Statement by Humboldt-Universität and the Hertie School on the cancellation of a panel discussion on 8 February

Joint statement on the incidents during a panel discussion of the HU, the Hertie School and the University of Münster on the topic "Constitutional challenges - Judging in a Constitutional Democracy".

On Thursday, 8 February 2024, pro-Palestinian activists disrupted a joint panel discussion of the HU, the Hertie School and the University of Münster on the topic of "Constitutional challenges - Judging in a Constitutional Democracy" so massively that it was initially cancelled. Active and former judges were invited to the event, including Professor and Judge at the Israeli Constitutional Court Daphne Barak-Erez.

During the event, one person stood up to read out a statement. At the end of the statement, the panellists and moderators tried to respond and continue with the event. However, this was made impossible by loud and continuous shouting from individuals. The organisers of the event then decided together with the panellists to stop the panel discussion. The activists were not willing to allow a discussion.

"I feel it is a disgrace to the guests we invited to an important discussion that it could not take place as planned. As a university, we are a place where even extremely controversial positions can be discussed. But this is only possible if we listen to each other. There was no willingness on the part of the activists to do this today“, said Julia von Blumenthal, President of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

"Science thrives on dialogue and exchange. We must also offer this space at universities to discuss competing opinions. If we can only hold discussions in closed rooms under strict security conditions, this will not only lead science but also our democracy to a dead end," said Cornelia Woll, President of the Hertie School.

In the evening, the discussion continued in a smaller circle.

Translated via DeepL.