Major University Weighs Disciplinary Action For Antisemitism Against Pro-Palestine Student Group

  • Post category:News / US News

  • George Washington University held two disciplinary hearings over antisemitism charges against the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter.
  • The university elected to confront the chapter after students called for an “intifada revolution.” 
  • Palestine Legal argued that Students for Justice in Palestine was within its right to protest under the Constitution. 

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George Washington University (GWU) held two hearings regarding the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter and its president after several Jewish student group meetings were disrupted by the organization.

GWU’s SJP chapter reportedly disrupted multiple Jewish events on campus, going so far as to call for an “intifada revolution,” according to the Jewish News Syndicate, and protested an event featuring a former Israeli official. The university responded by scheduling two hearings to determine if the chapter had violated any university policies and charged both the president and group itself with student conduct violations, according to GWU’s student newspaper.

StopAntisemitism’s Executive Director Liora Rez told the Daily Caller News Foundation that in early October, the SJP chapter stood outside the building of GW Hillel, a Jewish campus group, chanting and screaming, “Israel is a terrorist state.”

Later in the month, the chapter disrupted a Hillel event featuring former senior commander in the Israel Defense Forces Doron Tenne, claiming Tenne had committed war crimes, according to Rez.

“I want to say a dozen, a little bit more than a dozen or so students, GWU students, with Students for Justice in Palestine were protesting the events,” she said. “And they weren’t just simply protesting. We have the video on Twitter and those other videos, but they were screaming Israel is a terrorist state.”

Students held signs and chanted “There is only one solution, intifada revolution,” according to the National Review.

Rez said GWU has developed a “reputation for allowing the continued harassment of Jewish students,” which is why StopAntisemitism stepped in. She also told DCNF that the SJP chapter had a history of “targeted harassment” and “antisemitic behavior” that has escalated to violence in the past.

SJP and the GWU Hillel chapter did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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“Often students feel vilified, isolated, and a lot of times the administration doesn’t stand up to them. So again, we’re happy to see that George Washington University is taking these complaints seriously,” Rez said. She also noted that if found guilty the students could face disciplinary action and the group might be limited in its operating capacity.

GWU scheduled the hearings not long after pressure began to build on social media.

“We’re happy to see that they took this particular incident, after it caused so much outrage on social media, to heart and decided to investigate it,” Rez noted. “And hence we have the hearing coming up tomorrow for the students that participated in it as well as the SGA president.”

StopAntisemitism released a report in September that ranked 25 American colleges on their climate towards Jewish students and staff. GWU was given a D rating for lack of inclusion in the universities DEI initiatives as well as Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction resolutions being passed at the school, with Jewish students reporting that they “DO NOT feel safe being open with their Jewish identity or their support for Israel.”

Palestine Legal, an organization aimed at “bolster[ing] the Palestine solidarity movement by challenging efforts to threaten, harass, and legally bully our activists into silence and inaction” stepped in to defend SJP’s activities, citing the student’s right to protest, according to Forward.

SJP styled the hearings as “racist” and “racial profiling.”

One of the students at GWU, Chairman of the College Republicans Ezra Meyer, pushed back on these claims.

“They (SJP) are under investigation by the school because of potential violations of the university’s code of conduct for vandalism from their posters,” he stated. “Furthermore, just because they have the right to free speech does not preclude their words from condemnation. Endorsing an “Intifada Revolution” – indiscriminate murder of innocent civilians for simply being Jewish and Israeli – needs to be called out by all and has no place in civilized dialogue.”

A GWU spokesperson told DCNF the university “is committed to fostering a welcome and inclusive environment for all members.”

“When the university receives reports of student activity that may violate university policy, the university proceeds by our Code of Student Conduct and applicable university policies and procedures,” the spokesperson said. “In accordance with federal law and university practices, the university does not comment on student disciplinary proceedings. The university continues to support the right of all members of the university community to engage in debate and discussion, as well as protest, in accordance with university policies.”

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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