A Message from the President on Terrorism

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Dear William James Community,

The principal tactic of terrorism is to attack the essential sense of safety among humans. The more sudden and heinous the act, such as killing people in their homes, kidnapping children, raping women, and indiscriminately shooting into a crowd at a concert, the greater the violation. It is not just the relationship with the outside world that is destabilized, relationships with individuals, especially those in close proximity are strained and questioned. A history of horror, hateful treatment, and violation adds to the fear as well as to the need for reassurance about one’s sense of safety, belonging, and connectedness. This is especially true when the genocide, brutality, or the enslavement of previous generations of some people was ignored by others.

The heinous terrorist attacks on Israeli people by Hamas last Saturday are such violations. Brutality is not a religious or a political strategy, but one that is meant only to terrify, to disempower, and to dehumanize others. The effects of these actions are not only being felt in Israel, but among Palestinians, Jewish people around the world with clear memories of the Holocaust, and those with whom we work and study. William James College condemns such inhumane acts on our brothers and sisters.

Prior to this atrocity, the US has seen a 35% rise in reported antisemitic incidents in one year. Upcoming weeks will bring increased uncertainty for those who view Israel as a home. Jewish parents will worry more about safety when they who drop their youngsters off at school as will those who will be joining in worship. Likewise, those with ties to Palestine and countries in the Middle East will be living with great uncertainty and fear for those whom they love. The terrible emotions of this past week will continue. 

Times like these require a community to reach out to connect with those who are most impacted by violence to let them know that their circumstances are ‘seen.’ We are a community with a beloved teacher from Palestine, numerous Muslim members, and many Jewish people. In the same way that this multicultural community has reached out to each other in prior crises, please continue to create a safe, resonant, and respectful, community for those who need us the most at this moment. Times like these require humans to repair what has been broken. 

With respect, 
Nicholas Covino, President


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