Uncategorized Who is Lara Sheehi? George Washington University faces backlash...

Who is Lara Sheehi? George Washington University faces backlash after professor’s antisemitic remark


Lara Sheehi, assistant professor of Clinical Psychology at George Washington University, was recently accused of antisemitism by pro-Israel group StandWithUs.

As per reports, last month, StandWithUs filed a complaint against Sheehi for her alleged discriminatory behavior. The complaint claimed that the professor refused to accept definitions of antisemitism given by her Jewish students. She was also accused of Zionism and hate speech regarding Israel.

The complaint further stated that the university did not take proper action regarding the issues raised by the group.

US professor Lara Sheehi, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at George Washington University in Washington DC, is being accused by Israeli students and groups of promoting anti-Semitism.
View image on Twitter

The Guardian reported that Sheehi said she is being targeted by SWU for her activism because she is an Arab woman. In a defense she penned for herself in Counterpunch, the professor wrote:

“One only need look at its [SWU] stated mission to see that it is a shameless fringe political activist group prosecuting a right-wing pro-Israel agenda.”

What did Lara Sheehi say? Professor writes defense in response to accusations

According to The Washington Free Beacon, a student reported that Lara Sheehi asked students in one of GWU’s required diversity courses to share details about themselves. During the session, when a student said she was born in Israel, Sheehi allegedly responded by saying:

“It’s not your fault you were born in Israel.”

In the past, Sheehi has also reportedly shared tweets in which she called for the destruction of Zionism and even deemed the Israeli military “genocidal fu**s.” This has further intensified backlash against her.

In a defense that she wrote for Counterpunch, Sheehi stated:

“The objective and irrefutable facts do not support StandWithUs’ specious claims that I target my Jewish and Israeli students. They do not support the unethical and dangerous allegations that I am antisemitic and retaliatory.”

She continued:

“What the facts, in glaring clarity do support, is that, like others before me, StandWithUs exploited students’ political beliefs and targeted me because I am an Arab woman who is involved in scholarship and activism for Palestine and Palestinians.”

Professor Sheehi's LinkedIn (Image via snip from LinkedIn)
Professor Sheehi’s LinkedIn (Image via snip from LinkedIn)

As per her LinkedIn bio, Lara Sheehi works on “race and white supremacy, decolonial struggles, as well as power configurations in class, gender constructs, and dynamics within Psychoanalysis.”

She has worked as a faculty member at the George Washington University Forensic Psychology Program for 7 years. For the past 5 years, she has been working as the assistant professor of Clinical Psychology at the same university. Before this, she had a private practice for 10 years.

Professor Lara Sheehi row receives mixed reaction from social media users

As soon as the issue started circulating online, some netizens slammed the professor for her discriminatory behavior.

“It’s not your fault you were born Israeli” – George Washington U. Professor Lara Sheehi to her students

Complaints of antisemitic harassment followed, including malicious spreading of lies by Sheehi

Sheehi also took disciplinary measures against any students that complained

View image on Twitter
David Bernstein
Perhaps the single most ridiculous aspect of the controversy of Prof. Lara Sheehi’s alleged antisemitic behavior is the defense that she’s a person of color being picked on by white “Zionists” (Jews), when she not only doesn’t look nonwhite, she looks like so many Jews I know…
View image on Twitter
Leia Etre
THIS is what happens when blatant racism is taught in schools! We need to go after those who actually have positions in which it is their job to teach Afrocentrism, Communism/Marxism & Racism. For example, Kelisa Wing, Lara Sheehi, Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Dr. Leonard Jeffries twitter.com/PatrioticActio…

Meanwhile, some social media users also sided with the professor.

David Álvarez
Like many Palestinian academics before her, Dr. Lara Sheehi, an outstanding scholar & teacher at George Washington University, is being subjected to a politically-motivated campaign of intimidation & slander.

Below, you can sign on to @USACBI‘s letter in support of Dr. Sheehi. twitter.com/USACBI/status/…

Sign on: Letter in support of Dr. Lara Sheehi usacbi.org/2023/01/sign-o…
rasha abdulhadi
All love, deep professional respect, and solidarity to Dr. Lara Sheehi, and to all scholars & students targeted for harrassment as a result of offering care to palestinians. Learn more about what’s happening @GWtweets here:
“I have been targeted specifically because I am an Arab woman whose scholarship and activism advocates for Palestinians and, in the process, critiques Israeli settler-colonial Apartheid,” said Dr. Lara Sheehi, who is being accused by pro-Israel groups of promoting anti-Semitism.
View image on Twitter

Some students also started a sign on letter in support of Lara Sheehi.

Sign on: Letter in support of Dr. Sheehi (Image via snip from Google Docs)
Sign on: Letter in support of Dr. Sheehi (Image via snip from Google Docs)

The letter expressed concern about the treatment of Lara Sheehi by the administration of George Washington University (GWU). It was written on behalf of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI).

Sheehi is represented by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which accused GWU of a biased response to the incident. The university, however, has released a statement saying that they are “conducting a thorough examination” and refrained from commenting further.

By Deeksha
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