George Washington University (GWU) was recently cleared for promoting anti-Semitism along with Professor Lara Sheehi who frequently tweeted profane comments attacking Israel. According to the Washington Free Beacon, a civil rights complaint was filed against George Washington University arguing that Sheehi’s Twitter feed “created a hostile classroom environment for Jews and Israelis in her mandatory diversity course.”
The Free Beacon reports that Sheehi tweeted “Zionists are the most boldfaced a**holes” and “f*** Zionism, Zionists, and settler colonialism.” Sheehi also allegedly told a Jewish student that it is “not your fault you were born in Israel” while “suggesting Zionism is racist, and alleging that Israelis use humanitarian work to whitewash their crimes—’crossed the line into anti-Semitic speech.'” Sheehi also “advocated for throwing rocks at Israelis, celebrated attacks on Israelis during the Second Intifada, and denied that Hamas was a terrorist group,” in other posts.
An investigation was conducted by Crowell & Moring attorneys who determined that there was “no evidence substantiating the allegations of discriminatory and retaliatory conduct,” but the school will not release the full report of the investigation. In response, StandWithUs, a group that fights against anti-Semitism, is now filing a civil rights complaint on behalf of several students for withholding the information from the report.
A spokeswoman for the school, Julia Metjian, told the Free Beacon that the public will “have to take George Washington University’s word for it,” that the investigation produced results exonerating the university of the charges. Roz Rothstein, cofounder and CEO of StandWithUs, argued that if the university wants the results of the investigation to be taken seriously, they should release the full report.
Despite not releasing the details from the investigation, GWU defended Sheehi’s tweets, which also included one directed at supporters of Israel saying “Get f***ed, you and your racist a**.” The university stated that while they “understand how these tweets, viewed at face value, are offensive and hurtful to some,” such comments are permitted under their social media rules although they “strongly denounce” her use of profane language.”