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Follow-up statement regarding the violence in Israel and Gaza

Dear colleagues,

I wrote on Monday in response to the outbreak of war in Israel to offer and encourage support for all those in our community who have family, friends and colleagues who are affected by this terrible conflict. My aim was to focus on the human toll of the conflict and not its political dimensions. Nonetheless, the extraordinary scale of atrocities committed by Hamas has become clear. These acts shock the conscience, are unacceptable by all norms of morality, and leave no doubt that Hamas is a terrorist organization whose actions must be condemned. By international laws and norms, Israel has every right to defend itself, and is doing so.

In these challenging times, as always, I urge us all to treat one another with respect and provide comfort and support to friends and colleagues in our community and beyond who have been affected by the ongoing tragedies. I assure you that I and the other leaders of Rockefeller are committed to supporting you through this difficult time.

If you need support, please call 212-327-7257 to schedule a confidential counseling session with one of Rockefeller’s mental health experts.

With best wishes,


Richard P. Lifton, M.D., Ph.D.
Carson Family Professor
Laboratory of Human Genetics and Genomics
The Rockefeller University