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April 19, 2015 1:24 pm

Stanford Student Senate Candidate Scrubbed Support for Israel From Facebook Page Before Running

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A campaign poster for Molly Horwitz, a Jewish student running for Stanford University's student senate. Horwitz removed all traces of her support for Israel from her Facebook page before starting her campaign. Photo: Facebook.

A student leader at Stanford University removed from her Facebook page all traces alluding to her support for Israel before beginning her campaign for student senate, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Miriam Pollock, a friend and campaign manager for Molly Horwitz, said that before starting to gather support for her campaign, they scrubbed all posts from Horwitz’s Facebook page that suggested support for the Jewish state, including a photo of a pair of shoes decorated to look like the Israeli flag.

“We did it not because she isn’t proud — she is — but the campus climate has been pretty hostile, and it would not be politically expedient to take a public stance,” Pollock said. “She didn’t want that to be a main facet of her platform. Of course she was going to be honest if she was asked about her stance on divestment.”

Horwitz had published Facebook posts against Stanford University divesting from Israel, an issue which was put to vote and approved in the university’s Undergraduate Senate in February.

Horwitz made headlines last week after she accused a student group of antisemitism for their line of questioning in a meeting during her campaign.

While seeking an endorsement from The Students of Color Coalition (SOCC) student group they asked Horwitz how her Jewish faith would impact her actions regarding Israel in the Student Senate.

Horwitz told The Stanford Review that one of the SOCC leaders asked her during her interview, “Given your strong Jewish identity, how would you vote on divestment?” When Horwitz asked for clarification, an SOCC member alluded to her application to the student senate and asked how her Jewish identity would affect her decisions in the student body.

Horwitz told The New York Times she responded by saying she opposed divestment and was disappointed by the final vote. However, she said that she supported the method the student senate used to vote in favor of urging divestment.

“There was an awkward silence, and the interview ended a minute later,” Horwitz said.

The student leader did not receive the group’s endorsement but is still a candidate in the election, which began Thursday.

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