This Is How George Washington University Should Protect Its Jewish Students

The desecrated Torah scroll at a George Washington University fraternity house.

December 29, 2021

After the shocking desecration of Torah scroll at a George Washington University fraternity house in Washington, D.C., at the end of October, the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) launched a social media campaign asking the important question, “What should George Washington University do to protect its Jewish students?”

This campaign was accompanied by a petition organized by CAM calling on The George Washington University administration and student government to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. The petition has been signed by more than 1,100 people so far. Such a step would represent concrete action demonstrating The George Washington University’s commitment to fostering a welcoming learning and living environment free of harassment and intimidation.

Below is a sampling of the dozens of constructive responses we received online to our social media query.

We hope The George Washington University will take these into account going forward as it weighs how to deal with rising antisemitism on campus.

“1. Pursue vandals, thieves & thugs seriously 2. Expel & prosecute all vandals, thieves & thugs. 3. Email all students & parents that these acts of Jew-hatred will not be tolerated & criminals will be reported to police and prosecuted. 4. Public administrative apology with declaration that an action plan will be prepared and put in place on Jan 1st, 2022. 5. Implement a Jewish Speakers Program. 6. Implement an annual major Jewish arts festival. 7. Recruit non-Jewish supporters to denounce antisemitic attitudes and actions. 8. Etc. Etc.”

“Expel all those antisemites, no ands, IFS, or buts. Make sure that they are blacklisted from any other university.”

“Kick the guilty parties out of school after they clean the mess they made.”

“Make sure those Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity instructors don’t spew anti-Zionist tropes which they claim isn’t Jew-hatred. Ditto for the professors whose never-ending tirades and ridicule of Israel make Jewish students feel uncomfortable and unsafe. Don’t exclude pro-Israeli clubs or speakers from appearing on campus. If there is a threat of violence, go after those who threaten or perpetrate the violence. And lastly, when a Jewish student complains to the administration of mistreatment or acts of Jew-hatred, don’t simply ignore, but rather investigate and apply the appropriate remedy as you would for any other minority.”

“First educate students, staff, and security this is not allowed or moral. Second, examine what is fueling this at your school and don’t use antisemitic logic (or lack thereof). Put an end to it.”

“Bring in diverse Jewish thought leaders for DEI training — for staff and students.”

“Make sure all groups have an equal say on campus. If you are paying the same tuition, you deserve equal protection.”

“The leaders need to show a no-tolerance policy. And find out who is spreading the hate — faculty and/or students.”