Chancellor Gene Block shared this message about the recent events in Israel and Gaza and the resources available to our community.

Dear Bruin Community:

I write to share reflections at the end of a very challenging week for both our UCLA community and the world.

Only six days ago, a heinous assault was perpetrated upon Israeli civilians by the terror organization Hamas, a despicable attack that included the killing of children and the elderly as well as the taking of innocent hostages. Earlier this week, I joined UC leadership in condemning this attack, and as new details have emerged, I can only denounce it further: This was a grievous act of malice and hate. It was, I am pained to say, the largest one-day killing of Jews since the end of the Holocaust.

Since then, Israel has responded to the assault, leading to a significant loss of Palestinian lives and the troubling displacement of large numbers of innocent individuals.

Bruins have ties to both Israel and Palestine that run very deep, and while this conflict is physically far away, it is emotionally very close. Our community is experiencing trauma and heartache, outrage and anxiety. I reiterate my hope that students in need of support will reach out to UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services or the RISE Center. For those who feel the situation is impacting their well-being or academic life, support is also available through the Dean of Students office and Case Management.

Many of our staff and faculty are strongly affected by this violence as well. Those who need support should connect with the Staff and Faculty Counseling Center. I urge supervisors to be flexible and understanding with employees during this time.

This week, the growing war has prompted lectures, rallies, protests, counter-protests and many intense debates on our campus. This will surely continue in the days to come, and we will stand firmly in support of our community members’ First Amendment rights to free expression. I only urge Bruins to remember that passion must coexist with compassion. We should debate ideas, but we must never attack one another’s fundamental humanity. We must not devolve into violating one another’s rights or jeopardizing one another’s physical safety. Anyone experiencing harassment should report it through our Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. If you feel unsafe or threatened, immediately contact UCPD or call 911.

As we enter the weekend, we should pause to look back on this difficult week, honor the innocent lives lost, and express our high hopes for a peaceful resolution to the current violence. We should also remember that a university is a diverse group of individuals united in their dedication to the pursuit of knowledge. We must model respect and endeavor to understand rather than alienate one another. This is the light that will carry us through dark days.


Gene D. Block