Gaslighting Most Horrid at George Washington University
Palestinian Arab students at George Washington University are acting against what they claim is discrimination against them:
Dozens of students marched from Kogan Plaza to the F Street House Friday after a Palestinian rights advocacy group alleged officials shut down a “virtual processing space” for Palestinian students in the wake of violence in Gaza.
The protest comes nearly two weeks after Palestine Legal sent the University a complaint filed in D.C.’s Office for Human Rights, which alleges officials called an emergency meeting before instructing the Office of Advocacy and Support to take down information about a “virtual processing space” for Palestinian students in June. About 50 protesters calling for Palestinian freedom carried signs reading “Protect Palestinian Students” as they denounced what they consider racism within the administration and pressured officials to grant mental health services through OAS.
Rani Al-Hindi, a GW Law student who is Palestinian-American, delivered a speech in Kogan Plaza before protesters marched to the F Street House, University President Thomas LeBlanc’s on-campus residence.
“The fact that the mental health of Palestinians is even being scrutinized against, is being used as a tool of oppression and is being weaponized to marginalize students here on campus is something alarming and dangerous,” he said during his speech. “Mental health is something really basic. It’s a basic human right that everyone should be afforded.”
Al-Hindi said GW shouldn’t interfere with OAS’ operations and must ensure all students have reliable support from the University.
“Palestinian students, like every other group of students, deserve to receive support, deserve to have their struggle recognized and deserve to call out oppression for what it is,” he said.
After marching to the F Street House, the group then moved toward the Elliott School of International Affairs, but they returned to Kogan Plaza after a GW Police Department officer turned the protesters away.
University spokesperson Crystal Nosal said in a statement last week that the University received the complaint from Palestine Legal and will investigate the concerns.
“GW is committed toward diversity, equity and inclusion and to maintaining a nondiscriminatory work and educational environment,” she said in an email. “We have received the letter from Palestine Legal and the concerns raised there will be investigated.”
The civil rights complaint also alleges officials directed Students Against Sexual Assault to delete a similar statement offering support to Palestinian students in June, the same month the OAS post was taken down. SASA promoted the protest on its Instagram story last week, along with a statement accusing administrators of “discrimination” by restricting OAS’ mental health resources from all student groups.
This has led to GW University President Thomas LeBlanc releasing this message:
Message from President LeBlanc on Supporting the Palestinian Community
I want you to know that every member of our community deserves to feel welcome, supported, and included at GW, Dr. LeBlanc writes.
Dear Members of the George Washington University Community,
As you may know, the university received a letter recently from Palestine Legal raising concerns that we are investigating. While this investigation is underway, the health and safety of members of our Palestinian community and all members of our university community remain our foremost priority. I recognize the concerns and frustrations some in the Palestinian community are feeling, and I want you to know that every member of our community deserves to feel welcome, supported, and included at GW.
As an institution of higher education, we must always listen, reflect, and act thoughtfully and respectfully to make sure our campus is inclusive for all, and we must support one another in difficult times. I also want to make it clear that the university is committed to creating and maintaining a non-discriminatory environment and that university mental health programs and services are available to GW students, without regard to their national origin. I encourage all members of our community who are seeking support to contact the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement; Counseling and Psychological Services; Advocacy & Support; Student Affairs; Human Resources; or Faculty Affairs.
We are committed to working every day to support the welcoming and inclusive community that we aspire to be, and I am grateful to all members of our community who are supporting one another and working toward that aspiration.
Thomas J. LeBlanc
And what is this brouhaha all about? GW University’s Office of Advocacy and Support posted this vile, one-sided, lie-ridden, anti-Israel message on Instagram, and were then asked to take it down:
Clearly, no-one objects to palestinian Arab students – like any other students – being offered mental health services. But the above statement goes far beyond that, and actually sows even more hatred against Jewish students.
Of course, the antisemitism has been going on there for years, and can be linked strongly with so-called solidarity with “Palestine.” Remember this?
I expect this gaslighting and twisting of facts from the Israel-haters among palestinian Arab students and their supporters. Playing dirty is their modus operandi. But for the university president to send this “special message” in support of the Palestinian community – especially at a time where Jewish students have been targeted, primarily as a result of the lies and distortions of those now complaining to him – is reprehensible.
Hat tip: Michal