Woke George Washington University psychology professor faces anti-Semitism probe over claims she told Jewish students ‘It’s not your fault you were born in Israel’ and said their presence was ‘violent’
Officials at George Washington University have launched an investigation into allegations a psychology professor made anti-Semitic remarks towards Jewish and Israeli students. The probe into the alleged actions of Professor Lara Sheehi (pictured left) was sparked after Israel advocacy group Stand With Us filed a public complaint with the U.S. Department of Education.
The complaint was based on reports by Jewish and Israeli students in the Professional Psychology Program who claimed Sheehi (pictured) made derogatory comments towards Jewish individuals in a mandatory ‘diversity’ course. ‘It’s not your fault you were born in Israel,’ the professor is alleged to have said to one student before stating that the presence of Jewish students was ‘violent.’ Sheehi allegedly invited a guest speaker who targeted and ‘demonized’ Israeli and Jewish individuals.
The psychology professor is also accused of claiming that all Zionists suffer from ‘settler psychosis’ and that ‘anti-Zionism is not antisemitism’ because ‘Zionism in and of itself indicates that Jewish folks are different.’ Additionally, the students accused Sheehi of spreading rumors that the Jewish students referred to the speaker as a ‘terrorist’ and suggested they were Islamophobic before making verbal attacks directly against them. Stand With Us also alleged that the university and the professor retaliated against the students who made complaints. The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee has announced that it will represent Sheehi, claiming that she is being ‘wrongfully targeted by [a] far-right Israeli group.’
Sheehi (pictured) ‘would otherwise not have resulted in such an exaggerated and prejudicial response’ if she ‘were not Arab and her scholarship and activism were not focused on Palestine,’ the group claim. The professor ‘teaches decolonial, liberatory and anti-oppressive theories and approaches to clinical treatment, case conceptualization, and community consultation,’ according to her bio. However, multiple students have since reported antisemitism in the program and claim to have felt unsafe. Furthermore, the university also stands accused of mistreating the students who complained about antisemitism, making them acknowledge their alleged wrongdoing or face having a permanent disciplinary mark on their academic records.
GWU has not yet made any comments regarding the allegations and the status of the complaining students. The university issued a statement saying they were committed to conducting a thorough examination through a third-party investigation and that they ‘strongly condemn antisemitism and hatred, discrimination, and bias in all forms.’ The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee argues that the claims against Sheehi are rooted in anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism and are intended to silence dissenting voices.
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