Safety and Political Development

October 2023

Latest updates in light of the current security situation can be found here 






Recent Political Developments in Israel


Amid the recent political demonstrations and situation in Israel, The Lowy International School continues to prioritize an academic environment that is safe and inclusive for all our students and visitors.  


On this page you will find up-to-date information and FAQs to help you navigate and understand any impacts to campus life at Tel Aviv University during this unique time.






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What is life in Tel Aviv and Israel like right now?

For the most part, life in Tel Aviv and Israel is continuing much the same, and things remain business as usual. Restaurants, bars, malls, stores, banks, schools, parks, and the other mainstays of day-to-day life continue to operate as usual.

Can you explain to me what is happening in Israel right now?

On Nov 1, 2022, Israel held an election and the Likud party, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, won a majority by forming a coalition with the following parties: United Torah Judaism, Shas, Religious Zionist party, Otzma Yehudit and Noam.


The coalition has since introduced reforms and legislation that have been viewed as controversial by many in Israel; the greatest criticism has been related to proposed judicial reforms that would overhaul Israel’s high court. While the coalition has stated that they believe the high court to be too leftist in its political stance and thus not representative of the country, others in Israel worry that the proposed judicial reforms would make it too easy for a political majority to override high court judgements and thus the main ‘checks and balance’ in Israel’s democracy would no longer be effective. Since January 2023, there have been demonstrations against the governing coalition’s mandate, which have grown as legislation on judicial reform has advanced in the Knesset.


These protests escalated on March 27, 2023, with a series of strikes, including a general labor strike; in response, the Prime Minister of Israel announced a pause in the advancement of the judicial reform legislation and a willingness to consult on the legislation proposed.

The strikes ended soon after.

The judicial reform legislation has now been separated into different sections, and the Knesset passed the first major bill related to this reform on July 24, 2023. The Supreme Court maintains the power to review this first bill.

What can you tell me about the recent political demonstrations?

Demonstrations have been happening across Israel since January, with the largest occurring in Tel Aviv. The Tel Aviv demonstrations have thus far been overall peaceful and highly organized, with routes and locations set ahead of time and with much collaboration between organizers and police (e.g., the main roads and gathering places in Tel Aviv are shut down by police ahead of time).


Any clashes that have occurred in Tel Aviv have been among a small minority and in very specific areas, such as where protestors have blocked the Ayalon Highway (Tel Aviv’s main expressway). Should there be any escalation with future demonstrations, we will be sure to keep our international community informed of any developments.

How has the new government affected Tel Aviv University?

Since its inception, Tel Aviv University has been committed to academic values such as freedom of thought and expression; to a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion that is firmly against all forms of discrimination; and to academic achievements, research and learning at the highest level. Our values as an academic institution have remained the same throughout the tenure of each of Israel’s governing coalitions and will continue unchanged.

What are you doing to educate students about the current situation in Israel?

The Lowy International School has been holding regular public sessions with experts to provide students with the relevant historical, political and societal contexts to help them better understand the current situation in Israel.

Should I be concerned about disruptions to classes at The Lowy International School?

Providing students with a valuable education is a priority for us and The Lowy International School will always do its best to facilitate uninterrupted studies under any circumstance. While our current students are certainly studying at TAU during a unique time in Israeli politics, there has thus far been very little disruption in class learning and we anticipate that classes will continue to run as usual.


While the heads of all Israeli universities did collectively announce a strike on March 27, 2023, the strike was called off hours later once a positive development had been made. Strikes at Tel Aviv University only occur under very exceptional circumstances, and in those rare cases we always work to minimize any impacts to students. In any other case where there is a disruption, the university commits to offering alternative classes (e.g., Zoom sessions, recorded lectures or rescheduled classes) to allow students to fulfill their studies.

Are students able to apply for a Visa? Do you anticipate any delays?

All current and future students, researchers and visitors of The Lowy International School are currently able to apply for or renew a Visa. At this point, we are unaware of any increased delays in processing documents due to the current political developments in Israel. For more details on processing a Visa, see our Visa Information page.

What do I need to know about traveling internationally to and from Tel Aviv University?

For most students coming from abroad, travel is primarily by airplane and primarily via Ben Gurion Airport. From there, students can take a taxi or the train directly to the TAU campus.


As part of an unprecedented labor strike that took place on March 27, 2023, the airport did temporarily halt some flights (any flights already enroute were still permitted to land). Once there was a positive development, Ben Gurion Airport resumed full services only a few hours later.


We do not anticipate a future shutdown of Ben Gurion Airport.

What sort of security is there on campus and in the dorms?

TAU maintains 24/7 security and staffing on campus and in the dormitories. For security reasons, anyone entering campus is required to show a student ID card or other form of ID and have their bags searched. Additionally, no one is permitted to enter a dormitory without a clearance chip (FOB) or without first being identified by a resident (as part of the process for temporary guests).

Where can I find information about safety at The Lowy International School?

All students at The Lowy International School receive a welcome kit with safety and wellness information and contacts; safety training during orientation; and regular communications regarding safety and wellness. More information on our safety protocol and approaches can be found on our Safety, Health and Wellness page, via our Safety, Security, Health and Wellness Guidelines, as well as within our Security Guidelines.

Is it safe for students to go on trips outside of Tel Aviv?

All excursions organized by The Lowy International School are cleared by the Israeli National Security Center and the Ministry of Education and coordinated with appropriate authorities (including Israeli police and army); we do not allow trips to any areas prohibited or deemed unsafe (e.g., Gaza or settlements in the West Bank). We continue to be committed to running trips for students to enhance their educational experience and time in Israel.

What procedures are in place related to independent student travel?

Any students travelling independently must complete an independent travel form beforehand so that we can verify that their travel is not to a prohibited area and is aligned with Israel’s most up-to-date safety and security information and permissions (we maintain frequent contact with government security agencies regarding safety and travel).

If there is ever an emergency situation, how do you handle it?

The Lowy International School maintains frequent contact with government security agencies to stay informed of any potential escalations or risks on the horizon. In preparation for an emergency situation, all students receive safety training during orientation, a welcome kit with safety information, as well as regular communications.


Should an emergency situation happen, to ensure we can contact everyone promptly, our school requires that all students carry a working mobile phone with an Israeli number, and we maintain student social-media groups such as a WhatsApp group. We also employ a buddy system. The steps we would take depend on the type of emergency; our Safety, Security, Health and Wellness Guidelines and our Security Guidelines provide greater details on approaches we would take should there be an emergency.


Can you provide me with a list of emergency contacts?

Key emergency and mental wellness contacts (including our 24/7 student life emergency line) can be found on our Safety, Health and Wellness page.


Other Emergency Contacts

University Campus Security




Ambulance (and First Responders)


Fire Department


Electric Company


City Municipality (Tel Aviv)


Health Insurance Helpline


Ichilov Hospital/Sourasky Medical Center (Weizman St. between Arlozorov and David Hamelech)


Association of Rape Crisis Center

Women: 1202

Men: 1203


Who should I contact at The Lowy International School for more information?

You are always welcome to contact us with more questions. Depending on your location, please consider reaching out to one of the individuals listed below.


André Chusyd, Brazil and Latin America Outreach Coordinator

Dana Rubin, North America Office Director

Jennifer Gotliv, Study Abroad Director

Konstantin Platonov, Asia Engagement Director

Sharon Ziv Kafri, International Development Director


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