Universities across the country are facing backlash for failure to support Jewish students in the face of anti-Semitic activism. University of Georgia president Jere Morehead is one university leader who has taken a firm, early stance in support of Jewish students and against Hamas in the wake of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks against Israel.
In the days following the attack, Morehead met with the university’s Hillel group “to extend my sympathy, concern, and assurance to our Jewish community that we stand together in the wake of the recent atrocities in Israel.”
In a Oct. 13 statement, Morehead said he was “outraged and deeply saddened by the terrorist acts perpetrated against innocent civilians in Israel.”
”This is a dark and difficult moment for our campus, for our nation, for our world—and especially for our Jewish friends and colleagues, who are understandably feeling unsure and unsafe in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy,” he added.”
”As we individually and collectively process the events of recent days, our University will continue to support and serve all those in our community who are affected. We encourage our students, faculty, and staff to take advantage of the wide array of support services and counseling resources offered across campus. And of course, any member of our community concerned about their physical safety should contact the UGA Police Department. In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to deploy every available resource to promote the safety and well-being of every member of the UGA community.”
Morehead then pivoted to address students “choosing to leverage the events” to bolster anti-Israel activism and Palestinian advocacy on campus in the wake of the attack, saying that while the First Amendment protects students’ rights to express “offensive and even hateful ideas,” the university will “never tolerate the escalation of rhetoric into violence of any kind.
”We are committed to free speech, but our first priority is—and will always be—the safety of our campus community.”
Originally published by Campus Reform. Republished with permission.
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