Campus Monitor - George Mason University

Student Voices

  • March 4 2015, Jewish George Mason University Student (Ariella) “I never said anything bad about Palestinians. And people tell me I hate, I want to kill Palestinian babies because I merely said that there are two sides to every story. Even being moderate gets you attacked. And I’ve been called names by certain people for standing up for Israel but also they would attack my Judaism like I’m a brainwashed Zionist or like I’m just a brainwashed silly Jewish American Princess, which is ridiculous. So I have been called names by certain individuals at this school but the school itself is not perpetrating these incidents” Read more


Antisemitism Tracker

Total Antisemitic Activity:

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Classification Date-Description
11/4/16 – SJP National held its 6th annual conference, hosted by Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) on the GMU campus. The conference program for the event detailed panel events that delegitimized Israel by falsely accusing the state of apartheid, as well as at least one panel event that denied Jews self-determination by calling for the right of return for all Palestinians, which would effectively eliminate the Jewish state. There was also a BDS panel event to help participants mobilize for their own campus BDS campaigns. The conference was met by about 30 protesters who peacefully assembled with signs. According to the Free Beacon, some SJP members denigrated the protesters. One SJP member called the protestors “Zionist terrorists” and others remarked that “Zionists are so ugly.” An SJP member also intimidated members of the campus community, threatening in a tweet that she would “f*** up a Zionist.” On a recording later obtained of one of the panels titled, “Syrian-Palestinian Liberation,” panelist Wael Elasady, co-founder of Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights can be heard demonizing Israel with false accusations saying that the world is the world to turning a blind eye to Israel’s “ethnic cleansing of Palestine, increas[ing] its Judaization of Jerusalem.”
ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: DELEGITIMIZATION 3/19/18 – SJP held the event “Countering Pinkwashing.” The advertisement for the event on the GMU calendar stated, “Join Students Against Israeli Apartheid for a talk about the phenomenon of Pinkwashing – the covering up or distracting from oppression by utilizing narratives about LGBTQ rights. We will discuss what it is, how it is damaging, and how people have been and are reclaiming their narratives and connecting LGBTQ liberation with Palestinian and Indigenous liberation.” Pinkwashing is a demonizing term implying that Israel is malevolently representing itself as a safe haven for LGBQT people in order to hide Israel’s “crimes.”
DENYING JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION 4/13/17 – A new group on campus, GMU Muslim-Jewish Alliance, clarified their stance that “what is not up for debate (i.e. argument) are the three calls for justice from Palestinians: the right of return, an end to the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, and equal rights of Palestinians and Israelis.” These calls are the three tenets of the BDS movement, where the right of return would effectively eliminate Israel as a Jewish state and deny Jewish self-determination.
3/30/17 – Muslim-Jewish Alliance held their first meeting with Taher Herzallah from American Muslims for Palestine. During the meeting, Herzallah delegitimized and demonized Israel, stating, “American Imperialism is tied to the US relationship to Israel which also adds another layer of complication in dealing with the Jewish community as an ally fighting against white supremacy. It’s only the US interest currently to support Israel and its imperial interests.” He additionally denied Jewish self-determination, claiming that with “any Muslim Jewish partnership” there has to be “a disavowal of Zionism.” When a student asked, “Can I identify as Jewish and Zionist and develop relationships with Muslims?” Herzallah replied, “Zionism in reality means the cleansing of the Palestinian people…Jewish liberation doesn’t necessarily have to be manifested in Zionism…the preservation of the Jewish people and their history and their heritage and their language, all that…that’s totally fine [and doesn’t include Jewish self-determination].” Demonizing material on “faith-washing,” defined by Herzallah as an “attempt by many Zionist organizations in the US to pull in the Muslim community and sort of organize them and use them as a way to normalize Israel’s actions,” was passed out as well during the meeting.
3/29/2017 – GMU Students Against Israeli Apartheid held the film screening event, “Gaza In Context Discussion.” In the film, Erekat demonized Israel, falsely claiming that “[Israel] is guided by two primary policies: 1) To obtain the maximum amount of Palestinian land with the minimum number of Palestinian people and 2) To concentrate a maximum number of Palestinians onto a minimum amount of land.” She further went on to state, “Even if Hamas were to disappear, Israel’s policies towards the tiny coastal enclave would go uninterrupted… The Gaza Strip represents the most vivid and grotesque form of Israel’s settler-colonial ambitions.”
BDS ACTIVITY: BDS EVENT 9/27/17 – GMU Students Against Israeli Apartheid held the event, “BDS 101 Workshop” for students to “learn more about the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement for Palestinian human rights.”
BDS EVENT 2/27/17 – GMU Students Against Israeli Apartheid held the event “BDS 101.”


In the News ?

January 16, 2017:
The Algemeiner – In Secret Recording, Participants at ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ Conference Heard Attacking America as ‘World’s Greatest Imperial Power’
(Description note, “In the tape, Elasady is heard blaming US “imperialism” for facilitating the Assad regime’s alleged war crimes in Syria and for causing regional instability, which allows the world to turn a blind eye to Israel’s “ethnic cleansing of Palestine, increas[ing] its Judaization of Jerusalem and expand[ing] its settlements without repercussions.”)

November 11, 2016:
The Washington Free Beacon – Anti-Israel Hate Group Met With Protests
(Description note, “SJP organizers instructed their members not to acknowledge the protest, but that didn’t stop some from speaking out. One SJP member was calling the protestors “Zionist terrorists” before he was scolded to return to his workshop room. Others remarked that “Zionists are so ugly.” Another repeated numerous times that he “can’t even.” One waved his middle finger at the protesters before being escorted away by other anti-Israel activists. SJP leaders were seen attempting to convince police on the scene that the protesters should be removed—but their demands were ignored. Behind the SJP blockade, anti-Semitism was on full display. One SJP member posted a picture on Twitter, since deleted, of the Israeli flag being used as the “best doormat ever,” with shoes and trash bags piled on it. Another threatened violence, vowing that she would “fuck up a Zionist.”)

November 10, 2016:
The Algemeiner – Antisemitism Expert: ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ Spending Energy on Legitimizing ‘Obvious Bigotry’ Through Alliance With Anti-Israel Jews

November 7, 2016:
The Weekly Standard – Anti-Israel Conference Bans Opposing Viewpoints

November 6, 2016:
The Tower – Why Is George Mason U. Hosting Anti-Israel Activists Who Bully Students and Excuse Terror?

November 5, 2016:
EVENT – Confronting Hate and Extremism: A Discussion on the BDS Movement (CUFI event discussing antisemitism and the BDS movement)

November 1, 2016:
The Algemeiner – Virginia Lawmaker: George Mason U Must Rescind Invitation to Host Conference by Anti-Israel, Antisemitic Student Group With ‘Well-Documented Ties to Hamas’

April 17, 2015: Fourth Estate – OPINION: BDS is the Only Peace Process for Israel and Palestine (Description note, “BDS, or Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions, is a strategy for nonviolent resistance against Israeli aggression. A decade since its launch, the BDS movement has become Palestine’s “sword and shield” and most potent weapon against Zionism and colonialism.BDS addresses the underlying causes of the conflict, it does precisely what Israel’s “peace process” does not: recognize the full humanity of the Palestinian people and their undeniable right to the land of their ancestors.”)

April 7, 2015: EVENT – Ali Abunimah: The Battle for Justice in Palestine

March 4, 2015: Washington Jewish Week – George Mason disputes anti-Semitism label

March 2, 2015: Fourth Estate – OPINION: The price tag of birthright (Description note: “Birthright is one of the greatest propaganda trips in existence. The itinerary unassuming North American participants will experience there is equal parts fun, equal parts religious and equal parts nationalist, and when you combine that with the fact that it’s all paid for, it’s little surprise that participants return to the U.S. believing in the dominant narrative surrounding Israel: that it’s a “beacon” of democracy, hope, light and whatever else it’s been described as in American discourse surrounding a state built on ethnic cleansing, settler-colonialism and, frankly,genocide.”)

February 21, 2015: – Ali Abunimah’s Profile

January 20, 2015: The Washington Post – Israel’s challenge to the International Criminal Court

December 17, 2014: Hillel Letter (Description note: Hillel letter which explains in part, “Unfortunately, we are writing to you today because Jewish campus life at Mason is being threatened. Jewish students at Mason increasingly feel under pressure to hide their Jewish identity and support for Israel. Anti-Israel activists have gone from a fringe radical movement, to become an institutionalized presence in less than a year. The campus plays host to hate-filled events, where those who believe in the legitimacy of any Jewish state on the Mediterranean are condemned as racists and colonizers. Those who would see Israel wiped off the map denounce dialogue as a tool of the oppressors. It is in this environment that Jewish students feel threatened and intimidated, afraid to speak up when professors and staff abuse their podiums and positions to advocate against Israel.”)

November 8, 2014: GMU SAIA Youtube Channel – GMU Students Against Israeli Apartheid Walk Out on IDF Colonel (Description note: “On November 5th, 2014, George Mason University Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) conducted a silent walkout in protest of IDF Col. Bentzi Gruber speaking about how the IDF maintained “Ethics in the Field” during times of conflict.”)

November 5, 2013: ISRAEL EVENT DISRUPTED BY SJP – Description note: George Mason University Students Against Israeli Apartheid held signs up and conducted a walkout of the “My Israeli Arab Conflict,” featuring IDF Sgt. Benjamin Anthony.

October 20, 2014: EVENT – Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution

August 6, 2014: Legal Insurrection – Anti-Israel Prof. Steve Salaita loses job offer at U. Illinois over hateful tweets

May 18, 2014: ISRAEL EVENT DISRUPTED BY SJP – Description note: SJP planned and disrupted an off-campus Jewish event. Quote from article, “Students for Justice in Palestine and Students Against Israeli Apartheid from Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia, (DMV-SJP & SAIA; George Washington SJP, American University SJP, George Mason SAIA and Georgetown SJP, University of Maryland SJP) decided to crash a pro-Israel street festival.”

April 25, 2014: STEVEN SALAITA TWEET – I think of all the pain Israelis have caused, their smugness, their greed, their violence, and yet I smile, because it’s all only temporary.

March 25, 2014: Retellity – GMU SAIA Retellity Page

January 6, 2014: University leaders in Washington region denounce academic boycott of Israel


Photo Album - Campus Antisemitism

Source Credit: Posted January 20, 2016

Source Credit: December 2013 – present: In George Mason’s main building, a banner with the SAIA emblem and mantra—“For the equality of all and the supremacy of none”—on one side, and a kufiyyeh and Palestinian flag with the BDS call on the other hangs. S/C GMU SAIA blog


Source Credit: George Mason University Hillel Letter December 17 2014

Source Credit: George Mason University Hillel Letter December 17 2014

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BDS Tracker

No divestment vote has taken place.

BDS Instigators: Student & Faculty


Student Group(s) Promoting BDS: 3

GMU Muslim-Jewish Alliance



Number of Faculty Endorsing the Academic Boycott of Israel: 8

  1. Noura Erakat
  2. Bassam Haddad
  3. Sumaiya Hamdani
  4. Roger Lancaster
  5. Haiyun Ma
  6. Richard Otten
  7. Cóilin Owens
  8. Craig Willse