A Letter From Lisa Silverstein


There are not two sides to this story. There is no political or religious wheelhouse that can be spun to justify what happened on Oct 7th. This is a house on fire. Hamas lit a match. Israel has to put out every ember of terrorism so their house does not burn down.

There is right and wrong, transcending all nations and religions, in the civilized world, as there are laws against killing, with the exception of self defense. Israel is always and has always been in “self defense” mode. No one should question, protest against or make remarks about “proportion” as Israel fights for its existence. Israel should not hear the word “proportion” after the Holocaust, where millions were slaughtered, as they will never kill in the proportion of what was lost, nor do they want to. They value every life, Jewish and non Jewish. Hamas values death. Any human being that rallies support for Hamas, barbaric terrorists with a sole charter to butcher and annihilate innocent people, Jewish people, should be reported, as they incite dangerous and lawless action. The Holocaust, a catastrophic, unprovoked, unprecedented systematic murder of the Jewish population is not far from Israel’s thoughts, as they fight to never lose what was once lost. Historically, there was clear right and wrong, not two sides to that story. There was the 9/11 attack on America, a melting pot of countless religions, races and nationalities. Not two sides to that story either. The civilized world saw it as wrong. People didn’t protest when the United States went into Iraq and Afghanistan, where over 150,000 people were killed from the war. There was no discussion of “proportion”.

Make no mistake, Oct 7th, was beyond wrong and there is no other side to this story. There is confusion with regional politics pulled into the equation. There is also a lack of strong voices from those who have the platform to be heard, to educate, to set the correct tone for the public. This is a flashpoint to hammer it home. For those of you who are privileged to have such a platform, University leaders, board members, corporations, both public and private, if you don’t speak up against hate and killing of innocent people, you accept it. By accepting it, you normalize it for the next generation. If a child steals, do you accept it or is a parent obligated to teach that child between right and wrong? The silence and weak remarks from University leadership is deafening and dangerous. By trying to thread the needle between appeasing your donor base, faculty and students versus stating the facts, clarifying right from wrong, you forfeit your principles of education, accuracy and truth. You forfeit any moral compass you should have. You leave everyone vulnerable to interpretation, argument and more tension around the world. Teach, stand for what is right or you should not be standing at all (in the position you have). Being “politically correct” is doing a disservice to all. This is not about perspective. When we look back, you may have held your position without much fuss thrown your way, but accomplished nothing to move the needle during a time that begs a moral voice. You have failed to help reroute the future of genocidal murder, while weighing the legal and political implications of your words and fearing reaction. Fear your inaction. For those of you who have a moral spine and used your voice like the Mayor of New York, Eric Adams, God Bless you. We are all thankful, as hope comes from your words. Hope for the future of life and dismantling terrorism.

One does not have to be Jewish or Israeli to be sickened by the events that have transpired, only have a conscience. What happened was pure evil. To call terrorists animals would be cruel to animals, as animals don’t terrorize and kill for pleasure. It is our obligation to tell the truth, state the facts and bring clarity. There is only one truth and fact that will stand the test of time.

On the morning of October 7th, Hamas tortured and murdered over 1300 Israelis, butchering, burning and shooting infants, children, women, elderly and men. They didn’t just kill, Hamas terrorized innocent people before savagely slaughtering them.They wanted them to suffer, be brought to their knees. They kidnapped over 100 women, children and men. There is no justification for this on earth. Should one ramble down the historic road of middle eastern conflict to try to find justification, there is no help. That road would only lead the other way, as the State of Israel has been supporting their humanitarian needs; water, food, electricity, fuel, and funds to help better their lives. The government of Gaza, Hamas, literally cut off the hand that feeds them (and some of their heads), creating more strife for Palestinians that live in Gaza.

Hamas’s charter instructs every Jewish person to be killed and the destruction of Israel. Hamas began to do so on Oct 7th. The world must remember that and that alone. Israel must abolish Hamas or they will be no more.

The fact that innocent lives will be lost as Israel fights for its survival, brings anguish and anger that must be placed on Hamas. Israel will fight until every last shred of Hamas is killed. They will restore security for the State of Israel so this never happens again.

My instinct is not to get into what Israel represents, as I don't want to take focus away from the above, but I will mention a few facts that should be known:

The citizens of Israel are summoned to improve the lives of others around the world. It is a country that churns out leading innovations that assist the human capital around the world, from medicine to technology. Most importantly, it is a nation first to assist in humanitarian efforts, around the world, when disaster strikes. It should be known as a “global treasure”, recognized, defended and protected as a necessity for everyone's well being. We all benefit from the output of this nation. The arc of common sense should stretch towards eternal alliance, transcending politics, as Israel is a force, fueled with the purpose to progress and improve the lives of others. improving all lives. Their output tips the scales by their contributions, not by their numbers, as they are a small country, built from the sand up from a people always fighting not to be held down.

If we don’t stand for those that value life, there will be no life.

Lisa Silverstein

Vice Chairman, Silverstein Properties


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