Prof. Yuval Elbashan, Dean of Ono Academic College’s Multicultural Campuses in Jerusalem, published an open letter to students and staff regarding the current situation.  He opened his missive saying, “Difficult days are upon us. The seams of Israeli society are unraveling before our eyes.  It seems to many that the student who was my friend only yesterday is no longer my friend and may even be joining cause with those who seek to injure me. We at Ono Academic College refuse to accept this!”

Prof. Elbashan continued noting that Ono was established as a multicultural institution that constitutes an academic home for all those living in Israel: Jews, Arabs, women, men, ultra-Orthodox religious, secular, Muslims, Christians, Bedouin, Druze, Palestinians and Israelis. He wrote, “This is our way. It is no surprise then that Ono is the most diverse institution in the Israeli higher education system.”

He clarified further: “We will not accept any kind of violence – verbal, physical or otherwise.  We call upon you to show restraint and respect each other and the boundaries we have set, boundaries that allow us all to continue learning together, even when outside, other voices are thundering.”

Prof. Elbashan concluded: “Precisely in times of destruction and difficulty we seek to put into practice our vision of Ono as an island of non-violence, while we listen and respect all parts of Israeli society. In addition, when this round of fighting is over, we intend to have a sincere and genuine dialogue between all the partners on campus – students, faculty and staff. Only in this way can we rebuild together, the healthy society that we all long for. I hope these days will come soon.”