LSTM Statement on the Israel-Gaza Conflict

News article 7 Nov 2023
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As a global health institution committed to healthy lives across the world we are devastated by the ongoing conflict and widespread humanitarian disaster unfolding in Israel and Gaza. We condemn the Hamas attacks and the taking of civilian hostages but cannot condone any military response which falls outside international law and puts civilians, healthcare workers and healthcare facilities at risk.

LSTM Director, Professor David Lalloo, said: ‘The horrifying nature of this ongoing conflict is being felt globally, including within our own LSTM community. Thousands of people have died, including many children, health systems have been decimated and are failing and many more people are suffering and remain trapped. We stand with many other organisations calling for all sides to agree to a swift end to hostilities and the release of hostages, to prevent any further loss of life or suffering and to allow desperately-needed essential humanitarian aid and supplies in to the region. International charities and aid organisations must be allowed to safely provide the urgent medical support and assistance required.

‘It is also important to acknowledge that the current escalation of violence in the region has multiple and complex roots, including in the Holocaust and in an historically unjust situation linked to British colonial rule in Palestine. This gives us, as a global health institution with a long history, continued reasons to reflect on our own origins as an organisation which has its roots in colonialism.’

LSTM’s Dean of Partnerships, Professor Bertie Squire said: ‘LSTM is a diverse and supportive community and we know from conversations with our staff and students that they are deeply affected by these events. 

‘In line with our values, particularly those of inclusivity and integrity, we encourage honest, courageous conversations and ask our community to always treat each other with compassion, kindness and respect; mindful of our accepted definitions of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination. At this time, we also remember the ongoing, conflict-generated humanitarian crises taking place in other parts of the world, including Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen and Myanmar. These too are devastating health systems and blocking access to other vital determinants of health including water, food and shelter.'

For LSTM colleagues and students who are affected, support is available via our support service TELUS Health One, which offers confidential and support services in person, by phone and online and is available 24/7. 

We would encourage students to speak to their supervisors, lecturers, support staff and peers and contact colleagues in the Faculty of Education with any concerns, worries or support needs initially via studentsupport@lstmed.ac.uk (for students undertaking ‘taught’ programmes) or pgr@lstmed.ac.uk (for students undertaking ‘research’ programmes).

The Student Counselling team are also available to provide confidential advice and support, and can offer guidance across a wide range of topics. Counselling support is available Mon-Fri (9-5 UK time) and the team can be contacted via counselling@lstmed.ac.uk

For emergency, out-of-hours support and advice external providers such as NHS Merseycare, Talk Liverpool, Shout, Let's Keep Talking and Samaritans.