George Washington University Students Condemn Failure to Censure ‘Antisemitic’ Campus Leader, Protest for 1,986 Seconds to Mark 1,986 Anti-Jewish Attacks
Some 70 George Washington University students protested on Wednesday against the Student Association Senate’s failure to take action against a campus leader accused of antisemitism.
The demonstrators gathered on campus with signs reading, “I do not feel safe” and “not my SA,” along with a banner featuring the Israeli flag, The Hatchet reported. They stood in silence for 1,986 seconds, representing the 1,986 antisemitic attacks reported across the United States in 2017.
On Monday, the student senate voted down a resolution to condemn Brady Forrest, G-at-Large, who faced intense criticism last month for supporting a boycott of multicultural and interfaith events because they included GW Hillel and the Jewish Student Association (JSA).
Forrest — who claims to have targeted the groups because of his opposition to Israel — was removed earlier in the month as pro-tempore of the senate.
During the same session, the senate passed a divestment resolution targeting companies that do business with Israel. The measure was rejected by University President Thomas LeBlanc.
“The SA has failed the Jewish community at GW, and we do not feel safe knowing that student leaders don’t think we matter,” said Maya Slavkin, who helped organize the protest. “Anti-Semitism will not be accepted on this campus.”
“I’m here with my fellow Jewish students and our allies to show that our voices won’t be silenced — they’ll never be silenced again, not like it has been in the past history,” freshman Max Webb, who attended the demonstration. told The Hatchet. “This is unacceptable and does not upstand with our University’s values.”
The SA’s president-elect, Ashley Le, was also present.
“While there is a lot of disappointment regarding what happened on Monday night, I believe it is a good time for us to take a step back and reflect and learn from our mistakes and make sure that we can do better and be better,” she said.
GWU Hillel plans to host a workshop for students who want to write letters to administrators about ways to prevent antisemitism from being tolerated on campus.