Supporting All of Our Communities Affected by the War in the Mideast
As the war between Hamas and Israel escalates, Chancellor Hawgood urges the UCSF community to uphold our Principles of Community and denounces all acts and statements of bigotry and hate without exception.
Dear UCSF Community,
More than a week has passed since Hamas targeted Israeli citizens in a terrorist attack that resulted in the greatest genocidal massacre of Jewish lives in a single day since the Holocaust. Like many, I am still struggling to comprehend the scale of the atrocities that were committed against innocents. I join my friends and colleagues in grieving the more than 1400 lives that were lost and the estimated 200 hostages taken into captivity. There is no rationale for such specific and intentional murder and kidnapping of civilians.
As the war between Hamas and Israel escalates, I am deeply concerned that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza will deepen and more Israelis and Palestinians will die. My heart breaks for all who are affected in the Mideast region and here in our local community where many people are watching events unfold in real time with anxiety and fear.
Today and in the coming days at universities across the country, including UCSF, there will be events and discussions related to Israel and Palestine. Members of our UCSF community have organized and will continue to hold public events to inform and support one another, such as last Thursday’s vigil for our Jewish and Israeli colleagues, and an event later today for those with ties to Palestine. While we may distribute information about these events, they are not sponsored by UCSF and the participants do not speak on behalf of the University.
Speakers at events held on campus have First Amendment rights to express their individual views. However, UCSF denounces all acts and statements of bigotry and hate without exception, including antisemitism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia. With regard to the intentional murder and kidnapping of Israeli civilians the world learned about last week, we cannot excuse these despicable acts and we cannot support attempts to justify them.
At UCSF, one of our fundamental priorities is to ensure that all members of our community, regardless of background or identity, feel safe, seen, and heard. I recognize that our community is in anguish over the Hamas terrorist attacks. I also know that our community is suffering over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. As different groups hold discussions and events in the weeks ahead, I urge us to participate in them compassionately and respectfully while upholding our Principles of Community, which are part of UCSF’s Code of Conduct.
Let us work together to embrace a culture of empathy and true inclusivity in which every member of our community can join in productive dialogue in service of our shared public mission to advance health for all without fear, discrimination, or bias.
Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor
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