War in the Middle East



Dear Members of the Harvard Community,
We write to you today heartbroken by the death and destruction unleashed by the attack by Hamas that targeted citizens in Israel this weekend, and by the war in Israel and Gaza now under way.
The violence hits all too close to home for many at Harvard. Some members of our community have lost family members and friends; some have been unable to reach loved ones. And, even for people at Harvard who have not been affected directly by the fighting, there are feelings of fear, sadness, anger, and more that create a heavy burden. We have heard from many students, faculty, and staff about the emotional toll that these events are taking.
Across Harvard, we will continue providing as much support to our students and colleagues as possible. Our Schools either have shared or will soon share messages regarding available resources.
We have also heard an interest from many in understanding more clearly what has been happening in Israel and Gaza. Even as we attend immediately to the needs of our community members, we can take steps as an academic community to deepen our knowledge of the unfolding events and their broader implications for the region and the world. We expect there will be many such opportunities in the coming days and weeks.
We have no illusion that Harvard alone can readily bridge the widely different views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but we are hopeful that, as a community devoted to learning, we can take steps that will draw on our common humanity and shared values in order to modulate rather than amplify the deep-seated divisions and animosities so distressingly evident in the wider world. Especially at such a time, we want to emphasize our commitment to fostering an environment of dialogue and empathy, appealing to one another’s thoughtfulness and goodwill in a time of unimaginable loss and sorrow.
As many colleagues, classmates, and friends deal with pain and deep concern about the events in Israel and Gaza, we must all remember that we are one Harvard community, drawn together by a shared passion for learning, discovery, and the pursuit of truth in all its complexity, and held together by a commitment to mutual respect and support. At this moment of challenge, let us embody the care and compassion the world needs now.
Claudine Gay
President, Harvard University
Alan M. Garber
Provost, Harvard University
Meredith Weenick
Executive Vice President, Harvard University
Tomiko Brown-Nagin
Dean, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Nancy Coleman
Dean, Division of Continuing Education and University Extension
George Q. Daley
Dean, Harvard Medical School
Srikant Datar
Dean, Harvard Business School
Emma Dench
Dean, Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Douglas W. Elmendorf
Dean, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
William V. Giannobile
Dean, Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Hopi E. Hoekstra
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
David F. Holland
Interim Dean, Harvard Divinity School
Rakesh Khurana
Dean, Harvard College
Jane J. Kim
Interim Dean, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Bridget Terry Long
Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education
John F. Manning
Dean, Harvard Law School
Michael D. Smith
Interim Dean, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Sarah M. Whiting
Dean, Graduate School of Design