War in the Middle East

October 10, 2023

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

On Saturday, Hamas launched a terrorist attack on cities in Israel killing or injuring many civilians and taking others hostage. The world has watched in horror as over 1,700 individuals in the region have been killed in the resulting violence. Countless others are wounded and traumatized, and the fate of up to 150 hostages held captive by Hamas is still unknown while others have been murdered. The full-scale attack on Israel led its government to declare war on Hamas on Sunday. We grieve for the lives lost and the families that are devastated. We hope for peace and the safe, swift return of all hostages.

As a member of the Yale community, I am compelled by our shared sense of humanity to condemn the attacks on civilians by Hamas in the strongest possible terms. The death toll in Israel continues to climb. Non-militant Palestinians have been killed or displaced. According to reports, we can expect the crisis to escalate.

I am shocked and anguished by the loss of life and the pain and suffering of so many. All of us fear for the future, and this is devastation that directly affects so many within our community. Some of us have lost loved ones and friends, while others are facing dramatically abrupt changes in life. We are committed to supporting those affected by the violence and to the continued engagement and open discourse that strengthens our university community in times of a crisis. At Yale, we stand for peace—and support steadfastly those working toward it in the region.

On Monday, we focused on those most affected on campus, sharing resources available for individuals and groups seeking support. We will continue that work in the coming weeks and expect that departments and schools will hold programming for teaching, learning, and reflection. The Belonging at Yale website will keep you informed.

When facing tragedy, we can feel our differences intensely. Regardless of how we view the war in the Middle East, I believe in the strength of this community. We remain committed to open dialogue and to sustaining a community of respect. I call on all of us to treat each other with compassion and understanding and to reject discrimination and intolerance in any form. We share the values of Lux et Veritas. Together we will bring understanding and knowledge to solving global conflicts, and we will work for peace and a better tomorrow.

With best regards,

Peter Salovey
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology