Statement on Attack Against Israel

Dean Srikant Datar addresses the community about the attacks against Israel and follows up on the statement from Harvard University President Claudine Gay.

I wanted to follow up on the message I joined with Harvard’s leadership in sending last evening, and on the statement issued by President Claudine Gay earlier today.

Over the past few days, I have spoken with students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Harvard Business School who have been deeply affected by Hamas's violent attack on Israel and its devastating consequences. Terrorist actions against civilians are not only unconscionable, they are inconsistent with our most fundamental values; as humans, we must condemn them. They are especially troubling coming at a time of rising antisemitism globally.

Members of our community have experienced loss, are fearful for family and loved ones, or worry about the escalating tensions in the region. I share their heartbreak, their shock, and their horror.

In moments like this, we gain strength from our community values. Conflicts exacerbate divisions of nationality, faith, culture, and identity, and harden divergent points of view. We cannot fall prey to this division, nor can we condone words or actions that intend to incite or inflame. As an academic institution, we instead must strive to deepen the connections that are the foundation of our community. We must ensure we foster free expression and robust dialogue, even as we respect the rights, differences, and dignity of others and work—always—to create a culture of inclusion. Our sense of community is one of Harvard Business School’s greatest assets, and I hope we might draw on it now to extend our empathy and care to those who are suffering, and to deepen our understanding. The world needs leaders who will make a difference now more than ever.

Over the weekend we began reaching out to and meeting with members of our community to offer support. We are committed to providing every member of our community with the resources they may need. Students can reach out to SAS staff (617.495.6087 or 8am-5pm weekdays) or CAMHS Urgent Care (617.495.5711 weekends and evenings). Staff and faculty can contact the Employee Assistance Program (877.327.4278), with counselors available 24/7. The Harvard Chaplains are available to serve students, staff, and faculty. Additionally, the HBS Chapel offers a quiet place for reflection.

At this very difficult time, I urge you to reach out to and support one another, listen to those who are hurting, and be generous with each other and kind to yourselves.

With hope,
Srikant Datar

This message was distributed to the Harvard Business School community.