Dear Members of the Fordham Family,

Though a truce is in effect between Israel and Hamas, the conflict has provoked anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic attacks globally, including one in Times Square on Thursday, in which a Jewish man was beaten by protesters. He survived yet suffered injuries.

The victim, Joseph Borgen, said he was surprised at the level of hate against him, and said that there is a larger issue with hate against minorities in the city: “I have coworkers of Asian ethnicity who are afraid to go on the subway at night because you know, they are afraid they are going to get attacked on the subway. The amount of hate that is taking place these days is just mind-boggling to me. I mean, that shouldn’t happen to anyone in New York City.”

To which I say, it should not happen to anyone, anywhere, and especially not among the family of People of the Book. We owe our Jewish and Muslim cousins the same respect and love that we desire as Catholics. An attack against one of us is an attack against all of us, and violence inspired by anti-Semitism (as is apparently the case with Mr. Borgen), or because of any kind of racial or religious hatred, is especially appalling.

This weekend we pray for an enduring peace in the Middle East, and a cooling of ethnic and religious hatred here and around the world. I know you all join me in opposing the violent actions of mobs inspired by the current conflict in Israel and Gaza, and in working toward a world in which justice and understanding prevails among the warring factions.


Joseph M. McShane, S.J.


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Jesuit Resources on Racism