Dean’s Message

Regarding the war between Israel and Hamas

Posted Oct 09 2023

Dear SIPA Students,

This weekend, a new war erupted between Israel and Hamas following horrific terror attacks launched by Hamas against Israeli towns, resulting in hundreds of fatalities as well as civilian hostages taken into Gaza. Israel’s military response is likely to be a sustained campaign, already leading to hundreds of Palestinian casualties, and I expect the situation to escalate.

Like many of you, I am deeply distressed by these events unfolding in my home country and region. I’m concerned about the situation on the ground and its impact around the world, including in our community. Here at SIPA, we are home to a diverse student body, including Israelis and Palestinians, as well as students from all over the world. My heart goes out to everyone affected.

At moments like these, it is our responsibility as a policy school to lead with clear and informed content and analysis, to provide opportunities for discussion, and to model how to think and act during emotional and fast-moving times. I invite you to join us for a webinar this Tuesday on the current situation, where I will be moderating a conversation with Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Professor Stephen Biddle, author/journalists Nadav Eyal and Kim Ghattas, an IGP Fellow, and former US National Security Advisor and IGP Fellow Robert O’Brien.

At SIPA, we are grateful that our thinking and analysis can be enriched by these scholars and many more in our community who have led through challenging geopolitical crises and are sharing their perspectives in class, in public and private commentary, and in other ways.

It’s also important to acknowledge that in our diverse community people are experiencing these events differently, and I strongly encourage sensitivity and compassion. Our school and the university are here to support you. We have already been in touch with students from the impacted region and student groups to share resources, and I want to share these more broadly to ensure anyone who needs them can find support.

University Counseling and Psychological Services

  • Morningside / Manhattanville Campuses: (212) 854-2878
  • CUIMC Campus: (212) 305-3400
  • Students currently abroad may call International SOS and ask to speak to an Enhanced Emotional Support Counselor at (215) 942-8478.

University Health Services

Thank you everyone for your support, and the support you provide to our fellow members of the SIPA community.

Keren Signature

Keren Yarhi-Milo

Dean, School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)

Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Relations

Columbia University

New York, NY