US professor cleared of anti-Semitism allegation filed by anti-Palestine group – Middle East Monitor
American Professor Lara Sheehi has been cleared of anti-Semitism allegations filed in a letter of complaint by the anti-Palestinian lobby group StandWithUs. Sheehi is an assistant professor of Clinical Psychology at George Washington University’s Professional Psychology Program. She is co-author with Stephen Sheehi of Psychoanalysis Under Occupation: Practicing Resistance in Palestine which won the Palestine Book Award 2022 for Best Academic Book.
The complaint of alleged anti-Semitism against Sheehi was filed with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. After learning of the complaint in January, George Washington University hired the law firm Crowell & Moring LLP to conduct an independent third-party investigation and thoroughly examine the allegations.
In a summary of the findings published on the George Washington website, the university said the investigation included interviews with nearly every student in the class, as well as faculty and school administrators. It also included a review of a significant number of contemporary documents and communications.
READ: UK: parliamentary event canceled after complaints of anti-Palestinian racism
“At the end of his review, Crowell found no evidence to substantiate the allegations of discriminatory and retaliatory conduct alleged in the complaint,” the university said. “Many of the statements made by the complainant made by Dr. Sheehi were, according to those who heard them, inaccurate or taken out of context and misrepresentation.”
George Washington emphasized a continuing concern about the conflict of anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel. “Underlying much of the discourse that has arisen in class is the issue of what is properly defined as anti-Semitism,” the university said, asking, “are structural critiques of the State of Israel, with including the actions of the Israeli government.”
The university explained that what is and is not an appropriate definition of anti-Semitism is being discussed on college campuses across the country, and in many other areas. George Washington warned that StandWithUs and a handful of students in the class had proposed a broad view of the definition of anti-Semitism, “which, if adopted in a university setting, might violate the principles of free speech and academics. freedom”.
The definition of anti-Semitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is favored by Israeli lobbyists. Universities and public institutions have come under pressure to adopt the controversial definition. Seven of the 11 examples of anti-Semitism listed in the definition combine criticism of Israel with anti-Jewish racism.
READ: Saudi Arabia, UK sign security accords