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‘Zionist Genocide’ Message Projected on GWU Building, Police Ticket Apparent Students

Several pro-Palestinian messages were projected on a George Washington University building ostensibly by students from the university, prompting people and groups to decry the words as “horrifying” and “glorifying Hamas terrorists.”

The messages included “Glory to our martyrs,” “Divestment from Zionist genocide now,” and “Free Palestine from the river to the sea,” photos from the nonprofit watchdog organization StopAntisemitism show. The group called on the university’s president, Ellen Granberg, to “immediately expel those involved.”

A video shared afterward by the organization showed police giving a ticket to people who appeared to be students, with one of them arguing that school policy “is about property. We’re not damaging any property,” adding, “It’s not physically on the side of the wall.”

“We’re not going to sit here and argue,” the police officer responded. “The answer is no. You’ve been out here for an hour.”

The apparent student refused to budge, remaining seated next to three others, with equipment around and masks on at least two of them.

“The four students responsible for the pro terrorist light show are now being confronted by police,” StopAntisemitism posted on social media. “They refuse to move and continue to argue with police. Unbelievable.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) responded to the images from his personal X (formerly Twitter) account, writing, “These are genocidal messages displayed on a building at George Washington University.”

“If the students responsible for these messages aren’t severely punished by GWU, something is terribly wrong. Genocide isn’t hip, cute, or in any way acceptable. GWU — do the right thing NOW!”

Major universities have been the target of extreme controversy this month, with not just students but well-known academics being condemned for their criticism of Israel in its efforts to eradicate Hamas, the militant terrorist group in Gaza.

The matter has ignited the debate over whether higher education has taken a far too liberal approach. Rallies have been held across the nation calling for a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza and, in some cases, defending Hamas’s surprise Oct. 7 attack, in which its fighters killed 1,400 Israelis, many of them civilians. GWU has also faced scrutiny for professors’ comments targeting Israel.

Granberg, GWU’s president, wrote a message on Oct. 9 and then again two days later to share her “shock and sadness surrounding the Hamas attacks on Israel and Israeli citizens and to offer the full support of our university to all those impacted.”

“My message to our community stressed the importance of coming together and caring for one another, especially those who are Israeli, Jewish, Palestinian, Muslim, Arab, or connected to the region and this war,” she added. “I also reiterated our university’s expectations for acting and comporting ourselves when discussing or debating difficult topics. These messages of compassion and understanding remain the foremost priority for this university.”

The Washington Examiner reached out to the university for comment.