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Released on Oct 16, 2023
Monday Morning Message 10.16.23 No Cause Justifies Terror

My powers of empathy, my ability to reach into another's heart, cannot penetrate the blank stares of those would murder innocents with abstract, serene satisfaction.”― President Barack Obama

Dear CSU|LAW community,

In last week’s Monday Morning Message, I expressed my profound grief over the loss of innocent lives in Israel, but I did not think it was appropriate for me to say anything further until after the university made a statement. On Friday, CSU President Laura Bloomberg and CSU Board of Trustees Chair David Reynolds sent the below open letter to the CSU community. I strongly support their statement and thank them for their continued leadership.

Now I want to state where I stand. I speak only for myself. I want to express my unequivocal condemnation of Hamas's horrific acts of terrorism on October 7, 2023. There is never any justification for terrorism. Just as 9/11 was a moment to stand together on the side of humanity and against evil, so, too, is 10/7 such a time.

The loss of any innocent life, regardless of where the individual lives or what religion they do or do not practice, is tragic, and we should mourn the loss of all innocent lives in the Middle East including innocent Palestinians and Israelis - past, present, and future. We should recognize the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, and support equal measures of security, freedom, justice, opportunity, and dignity for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

But we must be clear that Hamas's recent acts of terrorism do not represent or advance those legitimate aspirations. Throughout the world, legitimate grievances prevent lasting peace, and such grievances deserve to be and should be addressed within a political process. But no cause justifies terror.

Deliberately targeting and killing innocent civilians; massacring over 250 young people at a music festival;burning homes with entire families inside; killing parents in front of their children and children in front of their parents; taking over 150 hostages and using them as human shields, including babies, children, women, and elderly; vowing to broadcast executions of hostages on the internet; and desecrating and parading the bodies of their victims including the naked body of a young Israeli woman being paraded in the back of a pickup truck -- these are not tragic, inevitable collateral consequences of war – they are indefensible acts of premeditated terrorism against innocent civilians. There is no moral equivalence.

Hamas’s terrorism has put innocent Palestinian civilians in harm’s way, and they are using them as human shields. While Israel should continue to take every possible precaution to avoid harming innocent civilians, Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself.

I know that some will strongly disagree with my views or my choice to make a statement. I do not want to cause anyone any additional anger, pain, anguish, or discomfort, but we need to acknowledge and condemn the depth and breadth of the evil brutality and barbarism we saw last Saturday.

The deeply rooted feelings and ideas that divide people throughout the world are certainly present within our Law School community. I ask that we address these issues and each other with compassion, sensitivity, and mutual respect.

President Bloomberg, Provost Sridhar, and Chairman Reynolds have asked us to focus first and foremost on the care of students and colleagues who have been affected by these events regardless of their views. Let’s do our best to reach out to each other and support each other during this difficult time for our nation and the world.

The views and opinions expressed in my Monday Morning Message are solely my own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the law school or the university.

For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages

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My best,


Lee Fisher

Dean, Cleveland State University College of Law

Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law

1801 Euclid Avenue, LB 138 |Cleveland, Ohio 44115 -2214
216-386-8688 | lee.fishernull@csuohio.nulledu

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