By Mitchell Smedley
On Monday, Oct. 10, President Hawkinson wrote to the Kutztown community regarding the conflict that erupted over the weekend in Israel and Gaza. He began by expressing how sad the entire KU family was and emphasized the university’s stance against any and all forms of discrimination. President Hawkinson also reminded students that there are resources available to assist with coping with a tragedy such as this.
The president acknowledged that this conflict does not exist in a vacuum, stating that he understands there are long-term differences between the parties involved, but he goes on to say that the taking of men, women, and children as hostages and the senseless slaughter of innocents by Hamas is beyond comprehension. Students affected by these horrific stories and images were reminded there are safe spaces on campus.
The email came two days after Hamas terrorists breached Israel’s border fence. Around 1000 attackers targeted Israel Defense Force bases and then went house to house kidnapping, killing, and mutilating Israeli civilians. The highest death toll came at a music festival in the desert where hundreds of unarmed young people were gunned down by Hamas. In response, Israel has begun bombarding the Gaza Strip, a region run by Hamas since 2006, with rockets. In contrast to Hamas’s attacks, Israel has been providing warnings to civilians in the vicinity of incoming attacks.
With an official declaration of war from Israel, the conflict does not seem to be slowing down any time soon.