George Washington University professor claims school ‘colluded’ with pro-Israel group after ‘antisemitism’ accusation

A Lebanese professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., has accused the school of colluding with a pro-Israel group that filed a complaint against her for alleged antisemitism.

StandWithUs, a nonprofit that describes itself as “an international nonprofit and non-partisan Israel education organization,” filed a Title VI civil rights complaint against Lara Sheehi last month that claimed discrimination against Jewish students for not accepting their definitions of antisemitism, according to The Guardian.

The complaint from the organization alleged GWU did not adequately investigate complaints against Sheehi, an assistant professor of clinical psychology, who allegedly engaged in hate speech regarding Israel and Zionism.

StandWithUs also alleged that Sheehi dismissed the interpretation of antisemitism from Jewish students during diversity lectures while embracing the definitions provided by Black and other minority students regarding racism, according to the complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Education.

“In a class designed to educate future therapists about different identities and sensitize the students to bias experienced by those identities, Dr. Sheehi singled out the Jewish students and deprived only them of an opportunity she afforded all other students – defining their own identity and what it means to experience discrimination based on that identity,” the complaint said.

George Washington University
George Washington University said it “strongly condemns antisemitism.”
The Washington Post via Getty Im

The complaint also cited tweets in which Sheehi reportedly called for the destruction of Zionism, called the Israeli military “genocidal f–ks” and alleged cruelty on the part of Israelis.

Sheehi defended herself in a post on Counterpunch that slammed StandWithUs for allegedly targeting her for being an Arab woman.

“One only need look at its stated mission to see that it is a shameless fringe political activist group prosecuting a right-wing pro-Israel agenda,” she wrote.

George Washington University's Thurston Hall, an older student dorm, photographed on Thursday, September 5, 2019.
George Washington University’s Thurston Hall, an older student dorm, on Sept. 5, 2019.
The Washington Post via Getty Im

“The objective and irrefutable facts do not support StandWithUs’ specious claims that I target my Jewish and Israeli students,” Sheehi also wrote. “They do not support the unethical and dangerous allegations that I am antisemitic and retaliatory. What the facts, in glaring clarity do support, is that, like others before me, StandWithUs exploited students’ political beliefs and targeted me because I am an Arab woman who is involved in scholarship and activism for Palestine and Palestinians.”

Sheehi also claimed GWU “has now colluded with StandWithUs’s misrepresentation of my classroom by being silent about a number of key issues of which they are well aware and about which they have supporting documentation that could have been used to publicly dispel these allegations.”

GWU did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment, but said in a statement to The Guardian that the school is “committed to conducting such a thorough examination through an investigation by a third party” and that commenting on the allegations would be imprudent.

GWU also said it “strongly condemns antisemitism and hatred, discrimination, and bias in all forms” while also recognizing “academic freedom, and the right of all members of our community to speak out on issues of public concern, understanding that they are not speaking on behalf of the university.”

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