A message to Mason community regarding the unfolding war in Israel and Gaza


Dear Fellow Patriots:

News of the unfolding war in Israel and Gaza is undeniably jarring. Today we come together to mourn the loss of so many lives, as well as to condemn the acts of terrorism that have targeted innocent civilians, and reminded us of the United States’ own painful history of experiencing terrorist attacks.  While geopolitical differences that can produce armed conflict naturally produce competing perspectives and robust public debate, such craven acts of terrorism as we have seen in Israel simply must be repudiated. Condemnation of these horrific acts of violence should not be confused with the need to address issues of freedom and democratic self-determination.

Events like this can evoke feelings of hopelessness, and nothing we do at the university will solve the current problem. That being said, we do have a real part to play.

First, we are working to confirm that there are no Mason students, faculty, or staff who are visiting affected areas and could be in harm’s way. If we learn of any who are there as part of university business or studies and who find themselves in danger, we will offer to assist however we are able, to assure their safety. Second, we are working to ascertain if students, faculty, or staff who are at Mason as visiting scholars or international students from Israel and Gaza are in need of emergency support.

Third, we can do what we can to support those affected in our community. To any member of the Mason community who feels vulnerable, threatened, or traumatized by the ongoing events in Israel and Gaza, know you are not alone. Your safety and wellbeing are our top priority. Here are resources available that I encourage you to use if you need them:

Counseling and Psychological Services in-person appointment, TimelyCare virtual telehealth
Student Support and Advocacy Center
Center for Culture, Equity, and Empowerment
University Police emergency – 911; non-emergency 703-993-2810

Faculty and staff
Employee Assistance Program 
University Police emergency – 911; non-emergency 703-993-2810

Finally, we can educate and engage on this current issue so that we can prepare our future leaders to solve what has not been solved for generations. In the days and weeks ahead, many in our community will surely be moved to engage about the war.  We will work to develop the appropriate forum to do this. As a university that has always lived out its motto of “freedom and learning,” I encourage everyone to first learn, then listen and speak with eyes toward civil discourse, understanding, and peaceable assembly. That’s what Patriots do.




Gregory Washington