GWU students call for university to adopt antisemitic acts definition

In the letter, students said there are several forms of antisemitism on campus

The George Washington University (photo credit: INGFBRUNO / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
The George Washington University
In response to several antisemitic incidents on campus, student organizations at George Washington University in DC are calling on leadership to adopt a “university-wide accepted definition of antisemitic acts.”
In a letter to university president Thomas LeBlanc, campus student leaders said that antisemitism is found in several forms at the university, which include the singling out of “apolitical Jewish students groups” for being Jewish, Zionist groups that support Israel, and “in the past, refusal of the Student Association to hold this form of intolerance to the same level of scrutiny as all other forms of hate, because the intolerance is directed toward Jews.”
The groups expressed serious concern about “the persistent, undeterred presence of antisemitism among our community.”
The latest incident – featuring a student at the university calling Jews “pieces of s***” on social media – prompted students to write the letter to the university’s leadership. In a Snapchat video, the freshman student is asked, “What are we going to do about Israel?”
She responds, “We’re going to f***ing bomb Israel bro, [get] the f*** out of here, Jewish pieces of s***.”
The student organizations, which include leadership of GW College Democrats, GW College Republicans, president SJ Matthews of the Student Association, as well as the Jewish Student Association, wrote that “consistent attacks levied against the right of self-determination of the Jewish people are often passed off as a simple discussion of geopolitical tensions in the region, when those attacks represent anything but.
“Jewish and allied students are discouraged from expressing their connection or support of the nation of Israel for fear of repercussions,” they said. “These events are often taken lightly, encouraging an attitude and culture on campus that provides fertile ground for antisemitic speech and actions.”
The groups called for “concrete steps” to be taken to prevent such incidents from taking place, including the adoption of a definition of antisemitic acts on campus in accordance with the US State Department definition.
This definition should include “calling for, aiding or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion,” dehumanizing or demonizing Jews, making stereotypical allegations about Jews that pertain to the myths that Jews control the world including the economy, the media or government, “denying the fact, scope, mechanisms – such as gas chambers – or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people” by the Nazis during the Holocaust, and “accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nation.”
Holding the Jewish people responsible as a collective for the actions of Israel, and drawing comparisons between the Nazis and Israeli policy, were also among what the groups want to see in this antisemitism definition.
The students also called for the formation of “a presidential commission comprised of campus leaders, faculty and administration to investigate pervasive antisemitism at George Washington University and propose actions to counteract” Jew-hatred on campus.
They also appealed for an organized “GW-sponsored panel about antisemitism in all of its forms” with experts on the issue, including a question and answer segment with LeBlanc.
Several other student groups who have since signed the letter include the Alternative Greek Council, Young Americans for Liberty and the Chabad Colonials.