Dear Washington University students, faculty, and staff,
Like all of you, I have been following the devastating events in Israel and Gaza since this weekend. To say that this is a heart-wrenching tragedy is a gross understatement. The violence perpetrated by Hamas against the Israeli people is beyond horrific; the terrorist acts we have been witnessing are nothing short of heinous. The depravity and inhumanity are simply beyond comprehension.
The developing humanitarian crisis in Gaza is also immensely heartbreaking. Thousands of lives have already been lost in this conflict in just the past few days and I fear that this is only the beginning of what will be an incredibly painful chapter in modern history.
As our students return from fall break this evening and we prepare to resume the fall semester tomorrow, I know this situation is weighing heavily on the hearts and minds of a great many in our community. I felt it was important to take this opportunity to express my deep sorrow and offer my support to all who are hurting.
Our WashU community is diverse and global. Our student body, faculty, and staff represent many nationalities and regions, including Israelis and Palestinians. Every individual is important to us and we greatly value your presence in our classrooms and workplaces. Since the early moments of this crisis, we have been working closely with our campus and community partners, as well as with members of our community who have direct connections to the affected regions, to express our concern and provide any needed assistance. Please know that our hearts and thoughts remain with you and your loved ones.
As a WashU community, we are committed to fostering an environment where all feel supported, welcome, and free to express themselves. I urge you to take care of one another and engage in thoughtful and constructive dialogue with your peers and colleagues. I also strongly encourage you to utilize the resources that are available to you as WashU students (Danforth Campus and Medical Campus) and employees if you are in need of support.
As we mourn together, I hope you will join me in my steadfast hope that, somehow and someday, there will be a resolution to this horrendous ordeal and that peace will prevail.
Andrew D. Martin