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Statement on the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

As a group of researchers aiming to build a sustainable society by examining the various problems of the modern world within the long-term scope of the dynamics of human civilizations, we at the Research Institute for the Dynamics of Civilizations are deeply concerned about the military attacks carried out by Hamas against Israeli civilians and the military retaliation by the Israeli government, which have claimed many lives and destroyed numerous communities.

Throughout human history, armed conflict has caused tremendous suffering in many parts of the world, and our experience has led us to recognize the importance of human rights and to create laws and international organizations to avoid catastrophe. What is currently happening in Israel and Gaza is a violation of this international order and is unacceptable from a humanitarian perspective. We implore both sides to abide by international law and immediately cease all military action to prevent further horrors, and request the strong support of the international community.

The importance of human life and the principle of adherence to basic human rights must prevail above all else. It is crucial that the safety of people, regardless of nationality, gender, ethnicity, or other personal characteristics, be equally protected and that the facilities necessary to sustain local communities are not destroyed.

Additionally, it is important to protect cultural heritage, which is not only important for the survival and well-being of society and culture but is also an irreplaceable component of basic human rights. Cultural heritage is the accumulation of the lives of the people who live in a region and the foundation of their identity – protecting it connects people’s lives from the past to the future and engenders our mutual understanding and coexistence. Military actions targeting archaeological and cultural heritage violate international treaties. We strongly hope that both human lives and cultural heritage will be protected.

4 December 2023
Director of the Research Institute for the Dynamics of Civilizations