GWU med faculty panel defended Hamas: ‘Right of resistance’

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS



George Washington University’s medical school hosted a faculty panel last week that declared Hamas terrorists have a “right of resistance” against Israel, according to video footage exclusively obtained by The Post.

The Dec. 4 discussion was titled “Understanding the Conflict in Israel and Palestine” and was sponsored by the School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ Anti-Racism Coalition and the Institute for Middle East Studies.

Panelists referred to the Jewish state’s military operation in the Gaza Strip as “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide,” while failing to discuss atrocities Hamas committed in its Oct. 7 attack against southern Israel, its designation as a foreign terrorist organization or that it is still holding more than 100 Israeli and US civilians hostage.

“Israel rightly can claim self-defense, but I also want to note here that Hamas and the Palestinians also have a right of resistance,” Michael Barnett, a professor of international affairs and political science, said during the panel.

George Washington University’s medical school hosted a faculty panel last Monday that declared Hamas terrorists have a “right of resistance” against Israel. UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Panelists failed to describe atrocities Hamas committed on Oct. 7, its designation as a foreign terrorist organization or that it is still holding more than 100 Israeli and US civilians hostage. Getty Images

“All of us have been shaken by the events of Oct. 7,” added Shira Robinson, a professor of history and international affairs. “But we all recognize that those events have a history.”

The Hamas attack ended a cease-fire reached after a May 2021 conflict in which Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel over an 11-day period before a peace was brokered.

Israeli officials estimate that approximately 1,200 people were killed in the Oct.7 attack, including 33 US citizens. Jihadists also took roughly 240 civilians hostage, including approximately 10 Americans — one of whom, 4-year-old Abigail Edan, was released last month.

On Oct. 7, Hamas invaded the Jewish state to brutalize, maim, rape and kill Israelis, mostly civilians, in a surprise invasion that left more than 1,200 dead — including 33 US citizens. via REUTERS

Israel responded by declaring war against the terror group, carrying out airstrikes and launching a full ground assault in Gaza in a large-scale effort to “demolish Hamas,” according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

At least one GWU panelist affirmed the Jewish state’s right to self-defense, but several went on to characterize the Israel Defense Forces’ actions as part of a larger “colonial” project to ultimately eliminate the civilian population in Gaza.

“Israel launched an unprecedented carpet bombing campaign in the strip that for the past eight weeks, we now know, has deliberately targeted and continues to deliberately target high-rise residential buildings, bakeries, schools, universities, and UN shelters,” Robinson said during the panel.

Israel responded by declaring war against the terror group, carrying out airstrikes and eventually beginning a full ground assault in Gaza in a large-scale effort to “demolish Hamas.” Anadolu via Getty Images

Hamas is known to use civilians in the region as human shields, placing them in harm’s way by carrying out operations and storing weapons stockpiles at hospitals, schools and mosques — another reality never acknowledged by the panel.

A senior IDF official noted last week that roughly two civilians have been killed in the war for every dead Hamas terrorist, corroborating reports that around 5,000 terrorists and 10,000 civilians have perished in the fighting.

The IDF spokesman pointed out the ratio was “unprecedented in the modern history of urban warfare,” as the Gaza Strip has one of the world’s highest population densities.

A senior IDF official noted that roughly two civilians have been killed in the war for every dead Hamas terrorist as a result, corroborating that 5,000 terrorists and 10,000 civilians have perished. Anadolu via Getty Images

Several concerned students and faculty tried to ask questions about the panel’s presentation but were ignored — with some also berated by anonymous users in the chat box during the Zoom meeting.

Jewish students at the medical school were particularly appalled by the panel discussion and told The Post that it had only contributed to the spread of antisemitism on campus that has exploded in the wake of Hamas’ terror attack.

Diversity and Inclusion Dean Yolanda Haywood apologized to the medical school community after the panel, but her statement on the fallout from the discussion neither mentioned Jewish students nor denounced antisemitism.

At least 17 antisemitic incidents have occurred on campus this year, according to the AMCHA Initiative, including recent defenses of Hamas by the school’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter. provided

“The primary goal was to offer an experience that would result in thoughtful reflection and be a stimulus for broader, open communication,” Haywood’s statement read. “As the webinar proceeded, it became clear that this program was not a balanced presentation on this most divisive and difficult subject.”

Jewish students who spoke with The Post stressed that the statement was part of a pattern of “generic corporate apologies” by administrators who have not “taken any actionable steps to make their Jewish students feel safe on campus.”

“Being a medical student at GW now has made me feel alone and scared for the future of health care,” one said. “I am astonished how a medical school and its students, who dedicate their careers to preserving life, have been silent since Oct. 7.”

Students projected antisemitic and pro-Hamas messages onto the side of a library building on its campus in Washington, DC, proclaiming “Glory to our martyrs” following Hamas’ attack. provided

“Many of my peers who are passionate about women’s health do not care about the raping, mutilation, and desecration of women’s bodies when it is Jewish women,” the same student added. “My Jewish friends and I have stood with our classmates to amplify the #MeToo movement, abortion rights, and Black Lives Matter. Their silence right now is deafening.

“I am more empowered than ever to become a physician so that I can use my voice to stand up for Jewish patients, because clearly many of my classmates do not care to do the same.”

Another student pointed out that “in Israel, when medical professionals arrive at the scene of a terrorist attack, they treat the person who is injured the worst.”

George Washington University has the fourth-largest Jewish student population of any private university in the US, but still registers a high rate of antisemitism on campus. The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Oftentimes, that is the terrorist themself,” the Jewish student said. “This is because we hold the preservation of human life above all else. I thought that is what it meant to be a medical professional, but clearly some of my colleagues do not feel the same way.”

George Washington University has the fourth-largest Jewish student population of any private university in the US — but still registers a high rate of antisemitism and anti-Israel hostility on campus, a 2016 report from Brandeis University found.

At least 17 antisemitic incidents have occurred on campus this year, according to the AMCHA Initiative, including recent defenses of Hamas’ terrorism by the school’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter.

In late October, students projected antisemitic and pro-Hamas messages onto the side of a library building, including “Glory to our martyrs” and “Free Palestine from the river to the sea,” which is widely understood as a call for the eradication of Israel.

The US Department of Education is also investigating a civil rights discrimination complaint against a George Washington psychology professor who allegedly harassed Jewish students with antisemitic comments during a mandatory diversity course — and then retaliated against them for reporting her to administrators.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) wrote to GWU President Ellen Granberg in October, urging her to “take immediate disciplinary action against those who projected antisemitic messages on campus buildings.”

“Jewish students do not feel safe on their own campuses, and I am appalled that university presidents and administrators, including at GW, have yet to forcefully condemn Hamas terror and vile speech by student groups,” Gottheimer said at the time.

“You have not only a responsibility, but an obligation, to protect all students, including Jewish students, and ensure they can safely remain part of the campus community.”

“GW has repeatedly condemned Hamas and their horrific Oct, 7 terror attack on Israel,” a university spokesperson told The Post Sunday.

“While faculty and students at GW have the right to freely express their own views, they do not speak on behalf of the University. Most issues, including this one, are the topic of a variety of events from different perspectives, and many events and discussions do not — and cannot be expected to — reflect all sides of every issue.”



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