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Statement Regarding Press Coverage of Recent Pro-Palestinian Demonstration on Campus

January 11, 2008

I was surprised and deeply disappointed by Arun Gandhi's recent opinion piece in the Washington Post blog, "On Faith." I believe that his subsequent apology inadequately explains his stated views, which seem fundamentally inconsistent with the core values of the University of Rochester.

In particular I vehemently disagree with his singling out of Israel and the Jewish people as to blame for the "Culture of Violence" that he believes is eventually going to destroy humanity. This kind of stereotyping is inconsistent with our core values and would be inappropriate when applied to any race, any religion, any nationality, or either gender.

Among the University of Rochester's values are a commitment to promoting diversity and being a welcoming and inclusive community. We respect the religious and cultural heritages of all people, and indeed our Interfaith Chapel is an institutional expression of our commitment to support religious diversity, to encourage free and open dialogue among diverse religions in a civil manner.

We are also committed to the right of every person to address complaints or allegations personally and directly. Arun Gandhi currently is in India. I will discuss this matter with him in person as soon as he returns to Rochester later this month.