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June 24, 2020 12:28 pm

Florida State University Student Government Official Apologizes for Retweeting Diatribe Against ‘Zionist Community’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

The Wescott Building at Florida State University. Photo: Tim Ross.

A Florida State University (FSU) student government official has apologized after retweeting a defamatory comment about the school’s “zionist community.”

Rawan Abhari — the Student Government Association’s secretary of internal affairs — posted the retweet as a major antisemitism scandal roiled FSU, following the election of new Student Senate President Ahmad Daraldik, who has a record of problematic statements, including comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany.

A no-confidence vote last week failed to garner the two-thirds majority necessary to remove Daraldik.

In the midst of the controversy, Abhari retweeted a post that said, “The fsu zionist community is a bunch of rich white hypocrites who looked the other way when black people were being murdered by the police and now are tryna dig up old shit bc they don’t like seeing a Palestinian person in a position of power.”

Posted by Yoni Michanie on Friday, June 19, 2020

Following criticism, Abhari issued an apology, saying, “Antisemitism is not acceptable, not condoned, nor some lesser form of hate or discrimination compared to others.”

“I apologize for any hurt my words may have created,” she stated.

“The presumptions of my fight being a different fight than my Jewish brothers and sisters is a false one,” Abhari added. “My fight for Palestinian freedom is the same fight for Jewish freedom because they are bound.”

Cindy Chamides — president of the FSU student group Noles for Israel — responded, “I appreciate that unlike the Senate President, the Secretary of Internal Affairs has at least taken the time to write a public apology. That said, apologies are not enough at this point.”

“If antisemitism is truly not considered a lesser form of hate at FSU, the Senate president needs to resign or be voted out of his position,” she said. “Additionally, we need to see mandatory training against all forms of racism and hatred, including antisemitism.”

Roz Rothstein — co-founder and CEO of the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs — noted, “It seems that the hate promoted by the Senate president may only be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the FSU student government. This illustrates the crucial need for education about antisemitism and how it manifests on campus.”

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