A Message to the Brooklyn Law School Community on the Hamas Attack on Israel
To the Brooklyn Law School Community:
On Saturday, most of us awoke to news that Hamas had launched a surprise attack on Israel. Coming in the midst of a Jewish holiday, the attack included a coordinated assault on a music festival, killing hundreds, and the mass kidnapping of civilians, including children, as hostages. Whatever the complexities of the historic conflict in the Middle East, there can be no moral ambiguity that the targeted killing and abuse of civilians is repugnant and reprehensible. Events continue to unfold rapidly and already include a declaration of war and the imposition of a blockade of Gaza. All of this, and further developments inevitably to come, will entail further suffering, trauma, and loss of life.
I write to acknowledge these profound events not only because they are now upending the lives of millions in Israel and Gaza, but also because they are directly threatening the wellbeing of a great many within our own Brooklyn Law School community. For all of us, the horrific images and news reports of the last three days have been deeply disturbing and upsetting. But for many members of our community, these events are also deeply personal, and they are grieving the loss of family members or other loved ones who have been killed, are presently missing, or otherwise now in harm’s way.
The seismic events of the past few days are likely to play out for years to come and will generate legitimate questions of policy, justice, and law. For many, these questions are urgent and deeply felt. And as a law school, it is part of our mission to explore and debate questions of law and justice. It is important, however, that we all understand that many members of our community are hurting and that we pull together consciously as a community to support and value one another, especially in times of grief and loss. So in the days ahead, please be sensitive in your actions to the pain and distress your classmates and colleagues may be experiencing and reach out to offer your support to others.
While the situation remains fluid and the law school will continue to update its response, I want to highlight resources and steps we are taking to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment for all students at BLS:
- The law school is making special arrangements for trauma counselors to be available, on site and remotely, for any member of our community who is struggling with loss or anxiety as a result of the violence.
- As always, counseling and support services are available to all students free of charge through providers who have a wide range of backgrounds and areas of expertise; and all BLS students have free and confidential access to unlimited 24/7, on-demand urgent care for both physical and mental health care.
- The attacks have also heightened concerns for public safety in New York and elsewhere. The Law School’s Director of Campus Safety is in active and ongoing contact with law enforcement leaders in our community to be alert to any emerging threats and to ensure that our campus remains safe and secure.
- I will be holding special open office hours for students the remainder of this week, and will follow with a Zoom link for those who cannot attend in person.
In closing, I want to thank you for the kindness and concern that so many of you have demonstrated for one another at this extraordinarily difficult time. Brooklyn Law School is blessed to have an uncommonly diverse, robust and vibrant community of students, staff, and faculty, and I am grateful for your partnership in helping ensure that every member of that community feels valued, safe, and respected in the difficult days yet to come.
President, Joseph Crea Dean, and Professor of Law