October 10, 2023

I am shocked and saddened at the terror attacks by Hamas in Israel and the continuing conflict that has taken so many innocent lives. I feel deeply for all in our community and beyond who are in pain. 

The university has been providing immediate assistance for our students, faculty and staff who are in the region. We have made additional support available to members of our community who are anxious about their loved ones, and those who are affected by these events in other ways. Several student groups hosted a vigil last night in partnership with faculty members and Jewish Life at Duke. I am grateful so many took part in this shared space for grieving, affirmation and fellowship at a time of such profound distress in our Jewish community.

The rise in antisemitism in recent years is grievously alarming, and as with discrimination and hatred of all kinds, must be rejected and countered by an abiding embrace of our common humanity. Violence is never the answer, nor will it ever be a path to peace. 

I encourage our Duke community to sustain an inclusive, understanding and supportive way forward, one that is respectful of different perspectives, condemning of brutality and hatred in all their forms, and consistent with our mission and values.