Standing Together Against Terror and Violence: A Call to the International Science Community
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
We write to you today not only as scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science, but also as fellow researchers and advocates for truth, knowledge, and humanity.
As you all know, Israel suffered an unprecedented attack by Hamas terrorists last week. More than a thousand innocent citizens—mothers, fathers, babies, children and the elderly, as well as young party-goers—were murdered, and hundreds of Israeli Defense Forces were killed or wounded. Many victims’ bodies were mutilated, many women were brutally raped, and 200 Israelis were kidnapped into Gaza. Countless people are still missing and unaccounted for.
Homes were burned to the ground and entire communities wiped out. At the same time, Israel is under ongoing missile attacks from Gaza, targeting civilian populations.
Wounded and grieving, our nation is coming together as one to help the survivors and provide support to those in need. Despite the destruction, the people of Israel are showing the world the true meaning of courage and resilience.
At Weizmann, we are also experiencing pain and loss. As a leading institution of scientific research in Israel, we are committed to doing our part to help the nation heal and rebuild— including accommodating refugees in our facilities or organizing donations for the victims. In the long run, we will help rebuild our country with the best tool societies have at their disposal: knowledge, education, and science.
Although the shocking atrocities perpetrated by Hamas and the tragedy of the Israeli people are hard and indisputable facts, we are still subject to hate speech, fake news, and appalling anti- Semitic propaganda from international media, social media, and on campuses across the world. Unfortunately, even after seeing videos, photographs, and other clear evidence of the horrors, many still believe this situation is merely another manifestation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where there are two sides equally responsible for the death of innocent people.
This is a moral equivalency that is, simply put, unacceptable. Indeed, nothing could be further from the truth. We are fighting pure evil in the form of fundamentalist extremists who, rather than building and sustaining life, seek only death and destruction—all while using the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza as a human shield. The values these jihadi murderers live by are exactly opposite of those of enlightenment and progress, on which science is based.
When faced with such adversity, it becomes evident that our mission as scientists extends beyond the boundaries of our respective institutions; it encompasses the collective responsibility we share as members of the international scientific community.
Today, we urge each and every one of you to stand with us against terrorism. Just as we seek truth and understanding in science, so too must we seek truth in the world we inhabit. The power of the scientific community is immense, and our voices can resonate far beyond the walls of our laboratories.
The recent events have shaken us to the core. But they have also reminded us of the importance of our collective power and action, and the impact we can have on the world. We must recognize that, as scientists, our words carry weight and our public statements have the power to influence opinions, policies, and, ultimately, the course of history.
In the face of darkness, let our voices be the guiding light. With hope for quieter days,
The Weizmann Institute of Science management
Prof. Alon Chen, President
Prof. Ziv Reich, Vice President
Prof. Roee Ozeri, Vice President for Development and Communications
Prof. Irit Sagi, Vice President for Innovation and Technology Transfer
Prof. Alon Harmelin, Vice President for Administration and Finance