Since the heinous Hamas attack of October 7, we, in Israel, have balanced fighting a war of survival with the difficult work of caring for the victims and the families of our hostages. We have also mobilized to contribute to vital efforts on the home front, both here on the Bar-Ilan campus and throughout the country.
And sadly, we have also been made to confront a disturbing global trend: open and violent expressions of Jew-hatred, of a kind and scope not seen for nearly a century. In cities throughout the world, and particularly on college campuses, support for Hamas and its genocidal aspirations is flourishing under the guise of freedom of expression.
This is an exceedingly dangerous trend. It is not about taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; rather, it is about supporting crimes against humanity. To the horror of all those with any moral clarity, university students are justifying actions that can never, under any circumstances, be justified.
Our role as academics must be to shine a light on truth so that our students—the next generation—will always fight on the side of the good and denounce evil wherever it arises. We must equip our students to recognize the difference, so that they may teach it to generations to come.
I encourage all of you to share the truth of the October 7 massacre in southern Israel on your own campuses and in your own communities—for the sake of Israel and for the future of the Western world.
Am Yisrael Chai. The People of Israel Live.
Prof. Arie Zaban
President, Bar-Ilan University
Chair, Israel Association of University Heads
Please Note: My colleagues from Israel’s Association of University Heads, which I currently chair, and I penned a letter to our counterparts around the world to communicate our distress about the current situation on campuses. Please read the letter here.