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Israel and Gaza: A Message from the Dean

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Dear students,

As this semester draws to a close, we at King’s are aware of how hard these last few weeks have been for many of our community, most especially those with friends and family in Gaza and in Israel. We are deeply impressed with the way you have continued your studies in the midst of overwhelming emotion and have, with only a very few exceptions, treated one another with civility and respect despite the deep divisions among us.

I personally have been deeply moved to hear a number of leaders of our Islamic societies express their concern for the wellbeing of Jewish and Israeli students, and to have heard the same concern for Muslim and Palestinian students expressed by a number of our Jewish student leaders.

In these darkest days of the year, I would ask all students and staff to be aware of the extra burden carried by those at King’s whose home communities are suffering the tragedy of warfare, terrorism, and all forms of brutal violence. This includes those whose home conflicts do not receive the attention of the western press, from Mali and Sudan to Nagorno-Karabakh and many others, as much as those whose horrors we hear about. Please be gentle with one another, and with yourself, as we all try to work out how to walk with wisdom and integrity through a violent world.

Also, please do continue to make your voices heard around the issues that you are passionate about. Universities are places where it is essential for diverse opinions to be expressed, with rationality and civility, so that we can all grow in understanding. Lawful speech includes protest speech, as long as it does not demean the humanity of another, as all forms of racism, Islamophobia, and antisemitism do.

I hope this holiday will allow you all to have some time to rest and to receive support from those who love and cherish you.


With all good wishes,

Revd Dr Ellen Clark-King
Dean of King's College London