Professor Lara Sheehi’s mandatory diversity class at George Washington University comes with a non-optional quotient of Jew hatred. On the first day of the class, which students enrolled in the Professional Psychology Program at the university are required to take, Sheehi asked students to describe their cultural background and heritage. When a student identified herself as Israeli, the professor responded, “It’s not your fault you were born in Israel.”
According to a complaint filed in early 2023 with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights by the Jewish nonprofit StandWithUs, “During the Fall 2022 semester, Jewish and Israeli students in the Program’s mandatory diversity course were singled out for repeated and persistent harassment when their Jewish and Israeli identities were disparaged by faculty and peers.”
The first day of class was only the prelude to a long semester of harassment for Jewish students. Sheehi also invited Israeli academic, Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, to give an address on campus. Shalhoub-Kevorkian is a notorious anti-Semite who has invoked ancient blood libels against the Jewish people by falsely accusing Israel of testing experimental weapons on Palestinian children.
During her speech, Shalhoub-Kevorkian made comments demonizing Jews and Israelis, stating that “good deeds done by Jews and Israelis are done to mask sinister activity.” She stated that Israel’s humanitarian efforts across the globe were an attempt to “use tikkun olam [the Jewish value of bettering the world] to camouflage [Israel’s] oppressive power.” She further advocated for violent “resistance” against Israel (a euphemism for terrorism) and praised a Palestinian teenager who participated in the violent and unprovoked stabbing of an Israeli child in 2015.
Following Shalhoub’s outrageous and anti-Semitic diatribe, Jewish students in Sheehi’s class described in class why the address had made them feel “vulnerable and unsafe.” One Jewish student correctly labeled the talk as a two hour diatribe against the Jews and expressed her doubt that the university would allow any other cultural or religious minority to be thus targeted.
Instead of validating and addressing these students’ legitimate concerns, Professor Sheehi outright denied that the lecture had amounted to anti-Semitism. She claimed that “anti-Zionism is not antisemitism,” and asserted that this declaration was a “non-negotiable truth” like a “historical fact.” Incredibly, Sheehi took this line of thought even further, adding that “Zionism in and of itself indicates that Jewish folks are different. There are many people who say that Zionism in and of itself is an antisemitic movement. Why? Because it locates that Jewish folks are that much more different that they need to have a space unto themselves.”
Having failed to persuade Professor Sheehi of their concerns, Jewish students in the class tried several times to bring their concerns to the university administration and to ask for an alternative to taking her required course. The GWU administration was not responsive. Even worse, once Sheehi learned that these students had complained about her to the administration, she began spreading lies about them, calling them “combative” and racist and ultimately filing disciplinary charges against them.
“She turned the faculty against the Jewish students by spreading lies about us and our conduct, she disparaged us in front of our classmates, calling us Islamophobes,” a student from the course, speaking anonymously, told The Algemeiner. “She smeared our name in a community where success as a therapist really depends on relationships with our faculty supervisors and our colleagues. The disciplinary proceedings effectively silenced us, making it clear that you can’t be a Jew and you can’t speak up about antisemitism safely in this program.”
While Professor Sheehi’s conduct in the classroom has only recently come under scrutiny, it is clear that her Jew hatred—and likely her expression of it in the classroom—has been going on for years.
The Canary Mission, an organization dedicated to exposing anti-Semitism, has collected a number of her tweets and comments. On August 4, 2020, in response to a story about Israel offering aid to Lebanon in the wake of a deadly industrial explosion, Sheehi tweeted: “F**K YOU AND F**K YOUR ‘AID’. Destroy Zionism and commit to land back, then we’ll take you seriously you f**king genocidal f**ks. F**k you.”
In April 2022, Sheehi tweeted: “MY RAGE CAN LIGHT A THOUSAND SUNS RIGHT NOW. F**k ALL settlers. #LongLiveTheResistance #PalestineWillBeFree.” As the Canary Mission website explains, “Among Palestinians and anti-Israel activists, the term ‘resistance’ can be a euphemism for nationalistic terror. It is often used to excuse or even glorify anti-Israel and anti-Semitic violence.”
For her blatant discrimination and abuse of Jewish students and her unwarranted hostility and wishes for violence against the Jewish homeland, Professor Sheehi deserves to be named one of the top Jew-hating professors in America.