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ASU joins 14 academic institutions in collective support of Israel

ASU said it 'stands with Israel' alongside other universities and academic groups across the country


ASU students wear Israeli flags during a gathering and vigil on the Student Services Lawn in Tempe on Wednesday Oct. 11, 2023.

ASU has joined various universities and other academic groups in a statement supporting Israel amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

The statement, released last week, said the coalition is "horrified and sickened by the brutality and inhumanity of Hamas." ASU is joined by 14 independent universities, groups of universities and a scholarship fund.

The statement also said the coalition stands with Palestinians "who suffer under Hamas' cruel rule."

The coalition was initiated by Rabbi Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University, a private Orthodox Jewish university. The statement was originally announced with 13 other academic institutions; ASU and Touro University have since joined the group. 

"The recent terrorist attacks by Hamas against the people of Israel and the subsequent retaliatory strikes have understandably caused distress and concern across the globe and in the Arizona State University community," the University said in a previous statement released on Oct. 10.

ASU also expressed its commitment to free speech regarding the conflict after multiple student-led events were held on the Tempe campus.

"As was reaffirmed this summer to the Arizona Legislature and the wider community, the university wholeheartedly respects and protects the right to free speech – and free speech means everyone on all sides of an issue. People on our campuses have the right to peacefully express their opinions, even if those expressions become uncomfortable or offend others," an ASU spokesperson said in an email on Oct. 12.

Debbie Yunker Kail, the executive director for Hillel at ASU, said she appreciated ASU's support of the statement and coalition.

"In the aftermath of the deadliest attack on the Jewish community since the Holocaust, I appreciate ASU’s strong condemnation of Hamas’s actions," Yunker Kail said in an emailed statement. "I am especially appreciative of Dr. Crow’s decision to be a founding member of this coalition to stand strongly against hate and against violence against all innocent civilians. This is a strong show of support and solidarity for Jewish students during such a difficult, frightening, and isolating time."

Originally, the University of Massachusetts system, the State University of New York, West Virginia University, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities and The City University of New York were the only large state public universities involved in the coalition.

They are joined by the private Christian institution of Baylor University, the Catholic University of Notre Dame and Dillard University, which is also a Historically Black University. Brandeis University is also involved.

Coalitions of universities including The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York and the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities signed on with the statement. The United Negro College Fund, a scholarship fund for HBCUs, also supported the statement.

Editor's note: The State Press is committed to fair coverage of our campus community. To read more about other perspectives on the ongoing conflict, click here. This story is developing and may be updated. 

Edited by Jasmine Kabiri, Sadie Buggle and Angelina Steel

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Shane BrennanEditor-in-Chief

Shane Brennan is the Editor-in-Chief at The State Press. He was a sports and politics reporter, before becoming the editor of the politics desk. He has covered local and state politics for the Arizona Capitol Times and Cronkite News.

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