Sickening Violence

I’m looking with horror, sadness and disgust at the images of Hamas atrocities as the organization has launched  a war that will only cause more horrific trauma to a region already scarred by too much suffering. The kidnapping and slaughter of civilians, and the celebration of vicious murder by armed fighters recalls the worst dimensions of human violence. The war that Hamas unleashed this morning will be devastating. It already is. 

May the wounded receive care, the kidnapped be returned to their homes and the bereaved find comfort. And may it not be long before the peacemakers can find a way.

14 thoughts on “Sickening Violence”

  1. As an alum, I would like to hear a statement from Wesleyan (not just you) showing support for Israel. My graduate school did this. Too many institutions these days are raging with misinformation about Israel and anti-semitism masked as anti-israel sentiment. Enough is enough. How many of our children, women and elderly need do suffer? There is NO moral equivalency whatsoever between these two sides. One goes out of its way to protect civilians and target terrorists, the other targets civilians and hides behind their own.

    Enough. Let’s hear Wesleyan put out a statement. Silence will speak volumes on where this institution stands.

  2. There’s a level of misinformation and hypocrisy in this writing. Hamas did not launch a war. Palestinians have already BEEN in war for 75 years under Israeli regime.

    It’s baffling to speak about civilian death in Israel and ignore the atrocities committed against Palestinians, atrocities that extend beyond this past weekend.

  3. I am writing to you from Herzliya where we are staying with our in-laws. I am ashamed, but not surprised to read articles from academic leaders at elite universities who prize the sanctity of intellectual freedom and are willing to pay the price of historical and moral truth. I am grateful to you for your entry entitled “Sickening Violence”, and I am wondering what is happening at Wesleyan to educate the learning community about the responsibility of learning and learned people to make moral judgments. Indeed, the making of moral judgments is, Biblically speaking, the defining characteristic of human beings. Believing that I aspired to become a rabbi, I went to Wesleyan precisely because I wanted to challenge myself and acquire an excellent, general education to discern whether my career inclinations would be confirmed or modified. To this day, I consider my education at Wesleyan to be core to my being.

  4. The brief statement by President Roth is fine, but where is a statement of solidarity by the university with the people of Israel. The brutal, animalistic, subhuman behavior by Hamas should be roundly condemned. They act not as legitimate representatives of the Palestinians, who are trying for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Their stated purpose for being is the elimination of Israel. Their actions can never be conflated with Israel’s; they are without morals or humanity, and despicable.

  5. I would like to see a formal statement issue by President Roth on behalf of Wesleyan, not just a blog post.

  6. Hi. Just wondering where your blog post condemning Israel is. The Israeli government made a 24-hour evacuation order for over 1.1 million Palestinians. Is it only sickening violence when the people dying are Jewish and white?

  7. As a Wesleyan alum, I am truly saddened to see a statement with no mention of the Palestinian lives lost while Israel is actively waging genocide. To claim that this war was started by Hamas is a profound misreading of history. Israel had been killing and kidnapping Palestinians and forcing them from their homes for more than 75 years. Israel has kept millions of Palestinians in an open air prison in Gaza for over 15 years. And now as Israel is committing some of the most horrendous war crimes of our time – bombing schools and hospitals and fleeing civilians and cutting off food and water from 2 million people in Gaza, half of them children – our country the US is sending Israel more weapons to continue the acts of terror.

    As a Jew, I mourn the losses of life in both Israel and Palestine. Every single life is precious. But we need to be very clear on the root cause of this violence and work to end that – Israel’s apartheid and occupation of Palestine.

    Are you not looking with horror, sadness, and disgust at the images of children and families dying at the hands of Israeli bombs in Gaza? If you were more shaken by the Israeli lives lost in one day than 75 years of killing and imprisoning Palestinians, why is that? What message does that send to your Palestinian students and alum about the value of their lives and safety?

    I know you may be concerned about losing funding and support from Zionist alums, but please know that if you do not speak out against Israel’s genocide against Palestinians, you also risk losing the support of the large number of Jews and alums like myself who refuse to stand with any leader or institution unwilling to stand against genocide.

  8. Genesis 12:1-3
    New King James Version

    Promises to Abram

    1 Now the Lord had said to Abram:
    “Get out of your country,
    From your family
    And from your father’s house,
    To a land that I will show you.
    2 I will make you a great nation;
    I will bless you
    And make your name great;
    And you shall be a blessing.
    3 I will bless those who bless you,
    And I will curse him who curses you;
    And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

  9. Writing from Jerusalem. YES, we need a stronger statement Michael.
    Hamas DID start this brutality.
    If we cannot name the evil in front of our eyes–what is all our learning and teaching about?

  10. As a private university, Wesleyan has a greater freedom to set forth a position than does a public university. There are criticisms that can be made of both the right wing government of Israel and land grabs that it permits, and also of the corrupt Palestinian authority and its PLO predecessors who have rejected multiple two state peace offers that would have given practically the entire West Bank for a Palestinian State, created an economic incentive for terrorism through its “Pay to Slay” program, and continue to indoctrinate young Palestinians that Israel must be destroyed.
    But as important as these are, they are policy criticisms. The Baby Killers of Hamas are something else. Failing to condemn Hamas in the strongest possible terms is a failure on the order of failing to condemn lynchings of blacks by the KKK, or failing to condemn the Holocaust. Wesleyan is better than that. If you will pardon the overly used quotation from Dante’s Inferno, “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.”

  11. I am very disappointed by the statement by Michael Ross ’78 about the atrocious sub-human attack by Hamas terrorists against defenseless civilians, including babies and the elderly. He didn’t even mention Israel by name. Worse, the letter only identified him by his class, not by his position. Must I assume that Wesleyan University has no opinion about the disgusting torture and murder of Jews.

  12. I, too, have been waiting for a comment that is not “sanitized” and feckless. I am wondering if protests have occurred on campus? I have read plenty of editorials in the NYT written by Michael Roth. Why not one about the genocide against Israelis? If there are pro Hamas students at Wesleyan, I would like them to use their intellect and to respond to cowardly attacks against Jewish people!

  13. If this is all the University and its President can say about the most horrific killing of Jews since the Holocaust, I am embarrassed and ashamed to be associated with this institution. There is no moral ambiguity here. If we can’t stand up and declare that unequivocally, what are we? “Never again” is now.

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