Decision on Disciplinary Charges for George Washington University Students For Justice in Palestine Due Next Week
George Washington University held a disciplinary hearing on Friday to determine whether its Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP) chapter violated the university’s code of conduct, The GW Hatchet, a campus newspaper, reported on Monday.
According to the student daily, the group is facing probation for extensively damaging the GW Hillel building, which was renovated in 2021, while protesting an event featuring former Israeli intelligence official Doron Tenne on October 11. An estimated $1,200-$4,500 in damages was caused by SJP’s using “wheatpaste,” an adhesive created when starch or wheat flour is mixed with water, to plaster anti-Israel posters on benches around the building’s perimeter, the report said.
“I have a deep appreciation for free speech and understand that all have a right to express their opinions, even if I disagree with them,” GW Hillel executive director Adena Kirstein said during the hearing, reading from a statement shared with The Algemeiner. “But what crossed a line for me was the placement of these signs on Hillel property.”
“Your actions didn’t achieve peace in the Middle East. Your actions didn’t make any Palestinian lives better,” she continued. “But your actions did hurt Jewish students at GW, who felt targeted and attacked. I wish you could have thought a little bit about the individuals and humanity inside our walls.”
Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) said on Friday in a statement that the charges brought against SJP are “false and based solely on a hatred of SJP’s just political message, showing overt discrimination on the part of the administration.”
George Washington University began investigating SJP shortly after their protest of Doron Tenne, the Israeli official. The group has since secured legal counsel from Palestine Legal, a pro-Palestinian nonprofit, in an effort to ward off any possible disciplinary measures that may result from George Washington University’s investigation. Palestine Legal previously accused the university of mistreating Palestinian students in 2021 over its suspending several “trauma support ” programs during Israel’s war with Hamas.
The Hatchet’s report added that the students were not cited to appear before the university’s disciplinary board for chanting “GW Hillel, you blood on your hands.”
SJP said later on Instagram that it “proudly” stands by what was chanted during the demonstration.
“And every word that was said during it,” the group continued. “For inviting a war criminal, for platforming a man who administered ethnic cleansing, for continuing to support a genocidal ideology, we say again, you have blood on your hands. Long live the Intifada.”
Neither George Washington University nor GW Hillel have responded to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.