Sunday, May 16, 2021 Dear students,
I address you today, Sunday, May 16, 2021, the eve of Shavuot, following another difficult night during which we witnessed barrages of rocket fire from Gaza into Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv and Be'er Sheva.
These rockets were fired at a civilian population with the intent to kill. It is not hard to imagine what the consequences would have been were it not for the remarkable protection provided by the "Iron Dome".
I hope that all of our students and alumni are safe.
I especially wish you, the reservists stationed on the Gaza border, and you who live in the most bombarded cities – Ashkelon, Ashdod, Sderot and the Gaza Envelope communities – a swift return to campus, and the ability to leave behind the memory of these last days and resume your studies and the building of your future. Please feel free to contact us with any help you may need, be it related to assignments or anything else.
Immediately following the rocket fire on Jerusalem, I asked our public diplomacy and ACT.IL activists to activate the Public Diplomacy Room. It was up and running within a very short time, with intensive activity led by Goor Tsalalyachin and Tom Berman together with student volunteers.
Cooperation with the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, headed by Prof. Boaz Ganor, the sending of data assessments and messages to the IAC in the United States, and the galvanizing of ACT.IL’s international online community all contributed to the sounding of an influential civic and independent voice.
We cannot forgive the violent attacks by members of the Arab community in Israel against defenseless Jews in many mixed cities, from property destruction to lynching. These thugs should be tracked down and held accountable under the full force of the law as soon as possible.
Equally shocking is the phenomenon we have witnessed of nationalist gangs. It became clear very quickly that they were not coming simply to help Jews who were under attack, but rather to instigate lynches, physical violence and vandalism against Arabs and their property.
It is painful that we have reached a point where Jews are behaving like those who unleashed pogroms against us in the past. Criminal law must be applied to these vigilante gangs just as it will be applied to the Arab delinquents.
To the Arab students of IDC Herzliya, I say to you today: You are part of our family. IDC is your home. We see you as part of the future leadership of the State of Israel. If you are experiencing any difficulties at this time, please contact us.
To the students of the Raphael Recanati International School: I am proud of the maturity and resilience you are demonstrating, even while you are alone in Israel, far from your families and facing many challenges.
The last few weeks have brought to the fore tough questions about governance, values, coexistence and political strategy. As an institution that trains the leadership of the future, we intend to discuss all of these questions with you when the winds die down.
After the Coronavirus pandemic and the current war against Hamas, I hope we can open the gates of campus and greet you all with renewed strength, eagerness to learn, and creativity.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday.
Prof. Uriel Reichman
President & Founder