22/11/2023 - The International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) has issued a statement on the current conflict in Gaza.
IAMCR Calls for a Just and Peaceful End to Hostilities in Gaza and for Respect for Communication Rights and the Safety of Journalists
IAMCR embodies an academic community embracing diverse cultures, faiths, and ethnicities. In the face of war and human loss, we give our heartfelt support to the Palestinian and Israeli, Jewish and Muslim people, who are subject to protracted violence and Human Rights violations, and we express our sadness and dismay for all the casualties of the current fighting.
We urge Israel’s government to halt the brutal killings of Palestinian civilians, including many media workers. We urge Hamas to release its Israeli hostages and cease its threats of further action against Israeli civilians, and we join in grieving the more than eleven thousand Palestinian lives lost in Gaza, and more than a thousand Israeli citizens brutally slaughtered by Hamas on October 7th.
As reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists, this tragic toll includes in mid-November at least 40 media workers in Gaza, as well as those killed in Israel or taken hostage. We join with press associations including Reporters Without Borders, the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association and the International Federation of Journalists in their calls to end the current conflict in Gaza.
Our responsibility as media and communication researchers is to produce fair and balanced knowledge about what is happening within our communities. As media and communication specialists, we call for attention to the multiple ways that communication and propaganda are being used to legitimate this war, but also to resist it, and we call for a cessation of violations of citizens’ right to communicate.
We support educators and students, who, within our universities and across various platforms are advocating for a just peace and encountering intimidation and significant resistance when they address violence within the framework of religion, race, ethnicity, and colonialism, thereby jeopardising their academic freedom.
To that aim, we stand unambiguously on the side of international law. War crimes and crimes against humanity committed by all parties must be investigated and tried by the International Criminal Court to put an end to apartheid and ethnic cleansing from any side as charged by the Center for Constitutional Rights, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International as well as the United Nations Human Rights Investigator.
We call for a just peace, a cessation of Hamas’ attacks on Israel’s people and of Israel’s military’s attacks on Gaza’s civilian population; a peace that will preserve the lives of all people affected by the ongoing conflict; a peace where journalists are allowed to perform their democratic roles; a peace where communication can be restored and where healing can start. A critical change of course now is essential. A just peace is the only way forward.
The text of this statement was agreed by the Clearinghouse for Public Statements and approved by IAMCR president. It applies to the situation at the date of publication, notwithstanding any further evolution. The Clearinghouse processes statements and/or manages the process of signing statements generated by others, that are principally concerned with issues relating to media/communications and where IAMCR members have substantive scientific expertise that provides a basis for seeking to influence discursive or material practice. It publishes statements in line with the purposes of IAMCR as specified in its statutes, notably in article S.2.8: “to defend the professional interests of academic media and communication researchers, to help the improvement of their training, and to promote and defend the freedom and independence of academic work in media and communication research”.