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University of California statement on Mideast violence

University of California Board of Regents Chair Richard Leib and UC President Michael V. Drake, M.D., shared the following statement on Monday, Oct. 9, 2023, in the wake of a violent weekend in the Middle East:

Our hearts are heavy in the face of the horrific attack on Israel over the weekend, which involved the loss of many innocent lives and the abduction of innocent hostages, including children and the elderly. This was an act of terrorism, launched on a major Jewish holiday. What should have been a quiet weekend of rest turned into days of unspeakable terror and shock. The violence is sickening and incomprehensible, and as of this moment we still do not know the fate of the hostages. This act deserves and requires our collective condemnation.

With missiles continuing to rain down on Israeli cities and warfare now underway in Gaza, the number of innocents affected are multiplying by the hour. As a University community, which includes people from all different nationalities, faiths and political beliefs, our expressions of grief extend to all innocent people affected by this ongoing conflict. We know many members of the University of California community are deeply and directly affected by these events. Our thoughts are with you. We encourage you to seek out support services on your campus if you are struggling.

We continue to hope for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict that has left so many people grieving, suffering, wounded, or killed.

We are grateful that all known UC students, faculty, and staff currently in the region are accounted for and safe. UC officials are in contact with them, and they are receiving guidance and following local security recommendations. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and take action as appropriate.

Additional resources and information for the University of California community can be found at the following links:

U.S. Embassy Jerusalem: Security Alerts

UC Education Abroad Program emergency information

University of California campus counseling centers


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  1. Colin M October 16, 2023 Reply

    The violence in the Middle East is horrifying and this pro-Israel statement by Chair Leib and President Drake is disappointing. The statement does not even acknowledge the Palestinian people and is a clear example of selective condemnation.

    The day after this statement was released, Israel forces retaliated by bombing schools, hospitals, and mosques in Gaza, killing an estimated 1,100 Palestinians, including over 300 children. Amnesty International verified 6 videos of an attack by Israeli forces on Oct 13 resulting in civilian casualties along Salah-Al Deen street, a route the Israeli army had designated as safe for civilians to flee after an Israeli ‘order’ told them to leave northern Gaza. No statement has been made by Chair Leib or President Drake about these atrocities.

    We owe the same moral responsibility to Palestinian children/civilians as we do Israeli children/civilians. Condemning the Israeli government is not antisemitic and supporting Palestinians is not supporting Hamas. If you care about human life only in Israel or only in Gaza, then you don’t actually care about human life.

    I strongly urge Chair Leib and President Drake to issue a statement clarifying their position on the violence in Israel and Gaza that more appropriately acknowledges the devastating horrors that all people of the region are experiencing. This is not it.

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