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December 20, 2022 1:04 pm
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George Washington University Students for Justice in Palestine Acquitted of Vandalism Charges

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avatar by Dion J. Pierre

“Apartheid Wall” built by GW Students for Justice in Palestine. c, 2018. Photo: Twitter.

George Washington University has cleared its Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter of all misconduct charges filed against the group for its alleged role in vandalizing the campus Hillel building.

The university began investigating SJP shortly after their protest of Doron Tenne, a former Israeli intelligence, at a GW Hillel event on October 11.

According to The GW Hatchet, a student daily, the group was facing probation for causing an estimated $1,200-$4,500 in damages by allegedly 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.

“I am relieved GW rightly recognized that Students for Justice in Palestine followed all the rules, which is what we’ve been saying from Day 1,” GW SJP president Lance Lokas said on Monday in a press release issued by Palestine Legal, a nonprofit that provided the group legal counsel.

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“There was zero evidence of us doing anything wrong. Yet it was the group made up primarily of Palestinians and Arabs that Arabs that was falsely accused and charged,” he continued.

Palestine Legal has said that Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has taken responsibility for putting up posters, pointing to an article in Forward in which the group discussed doing it. Palestine Legal also said that the university’s Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement office, not GW Hillel, had filed the complaint against Students for Justice in Palestine.

SJP at GW has said in social media posts that it “proudly” stands by what its members chanted during the demonstration against Tenne.

“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,” the group wrote in a November Instagram post.

The Algemeiner has asked GW Hillel to comment on this story. It will be updated accordingly.

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