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Second Letter to GWU President Knapp Regarding Swastikas

19 Groups Respond to GWU President Steven Knapp’s Letter Reply Regarding University Response to Swastikas


To: President Steven Knapp

March 6, 2015

Dr. Steven Knapp
2122 I Street, N.W.
Washington, DC  20052


Dear President Knapp,


Thank you for your swift response to our letter.  We commend you for your continuing investigation and for holding accountable the perpetrators of this hateful behavior.  However, we feel that our concerns, and those of Jewish student leaders on your campus, have not yet been fully addressed.


Campus antisemitism is a pervasive and growing problem.  A recent study published by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law reveals that 54% of Jewish American college and university students report experiencing or witnessing antisemitism on campus in the recent school year.  The research shows that this is a much more widespread problem than most realized.


In the last year, more than 10 college and university campuses around the country have been defaced with swastikas, in each case causing particular distress to Jewish students.


Therefore, we believe it is imperative for you to take the following steps to deter future acts of anti-Jewish bigotry and help protect Jewish students and all students on your campus:


  • Publicly acknowledge that a swastika is an antisemitic symbol associated with genocide perpetrated against the Jewish people, and that the swastikas found inside the International House were particularly upsetting to Jewish students on your campus, who felt targeted for hatred and discrimination.
  • Publicly affirm that you are investigating this incident, and all future incidents of this nature, as antisemitic hate crimes.
  • Publicly affirm that you are committed to educating University staff, including campus police, in identifying antisemitism and antisemitic hate crimes.

Thank you again for your attention to this matter.



AMCHA Initiative
American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists
Americans for Peace and Tolerance
Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)
Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel
Iranian American Jewish Federation
Israeli-American Council (IAC)
National Conference on Jewish Affairs
Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)
Proclaiming Justice to the Nations
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism
The Lawfare Project
Training and Education About the Middle East (T.E.A.M.)
Zionist Organization of America


Cc:  Board of Trustees
        Dr. Steven Lerman, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
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