Oct 17, 2023 - World

Exclusive: University presidents unite in support of Israel

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

A multifaith coalition of U.S. colleges and universities has issued a public statement supporting Israel and opposing Hamas, it tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Several top schools have been criticized for how they've communicated about last week's terrorist attacks.

The statement:

We are horrified and sickened by the brutality and inhumanity of Hamas. Murdering innocent civilians including babies and children, raping women and taking the elderly as hostages are not the actions of political disagreement but the actions of hate and terrorism. The basis of all universities is a pursuit of truth, and it is times like these that require moral clarity. Like the fight against ISIS, the fight against Hamas is a fight against evil. We, the presidents and chancellors of universities and colleges across the United States of America and the world, stand with Israel, with the Palestinians who suffer under Hamas' cruel rule in Gaza and with all people of moral conscience.

Founding signees include the presidents of Jewish schools (Yeshiva University), Catholic schools (University of Notre Dame), HBCUs (Dillard University), Christian schools (Baylor University), and public systems (SUNY and CUNY).

  • Plus the presidents of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the United Negro College Fund.

What they're saying: "We are building a broad coalition that can articulate inhumanity when we see it," says Rabbi Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University. "This is the greatest atrocity against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, and one of the most significant attacks of international terrorism."

  • Berman declined to specifically address the impact Israel's military response is having on Palestinian civilians in Gaza, except to reiterate the statement's mention of suffering "under Hamas' cruel rule."
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