Thoughts on Israel

A letter from our CEO

Like many of you, I have been watching the coverage of Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Israel and the aftermath unfold over the past several days with horror, anger and grave concern.

In a world where nearly everything is politicized, misinformation is rampant and leaders are spreading hatred, it is disheartening and infuriating to see how news like this is interpreted. Make no mistake, this was an unjust, inexcusable and brutal attack by a terrorist group on innocent Israeli, American and other civilians. With antisemitic threats against them around the world, what the people of Israel and the Jewish diaspora are facing right now is unimaginable. I am deeply saddened not only by the loss of life in Israel and Gaza, but also by the calls to harm Jewish people in Germany, here in the States and elsewhere. I cannot help but be fearful of the escalating conflict in the Middle East and its broader implications, especially given an already strained geopolitical landscape with Russia’s unjust invasion of Ukraine, tensions with China and more.

Difficult and uncertain times like this impact us all. Many of our colleagues have family and friends in Israel and Gaza, and others are fearful of the spread of antisemitism and their own safety. I call on all of you to be sensitive to one another, foster a sense of belonging and treat all our colleagues with respect, dignity and care. 

In the coming days, Brian Johnson will be sharing some resources for colleagues looking for additional support or a safe space for open discussion. I encourage you to take advantage of them and reach out to Brian if you are interested in contributing.

Those of you who have been with the Firm for several years may remember that in 2020, we made a three-year pledge to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to help further its mission of fighting all forms of antisemitism and bias. In recognition of what’s happening in society today, and as we approach the five-year anniversary of the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Western Pennsylvania, we are recommitting our pledge for an additional three years. We’ve been fortunate to work with former FS fund board member Steve Irwin, who chairs ADL’s work in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. As Steve recently put it, “I wish we were in a post anti-Semitic world, but we are not. ADL’s work to eradicate hate, extremism and violence against Jewish people has never been more critical.” I deeply appreciate Steve, the ADL and the work they are doing and am proud to offer the support of the FS Foundation. 

Please join me in extending a hand to our colleagues across the Firm and hoping for peace and stability around the globe.

Michael Forman, Chairman + CEO

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