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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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GW for Israel condemns appointment of interim Elliott School leader

Updated: May 13, 2020 at 6:39 p.m.

GW for Israel released a statement Monday condemning the appointment of the interim head of the Elliott School of International Affairs.

The post states that Ilana Feldman, the school’s current vice dean and future provisional leader, has demonstrated “fervent” support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement – a nonviolent movement that seeks to pressure Israel to stop occupying the Palestinian territories – which will “isolate” Israeli students and those who support a Jewish State of Israel. The post urges officials to reconsider their decision placing Feldman in the role.

GW for Israel supports a two-state solution where Israelis and Palestinians can live in “prosperity alongside each other,” according to the post. The post states that the BDS movement does not support a two-state solution and “undermines direct peace negotiations” between Israelis and Palestinians.

“We understand the importance of having an array of viewpoints and opinions within the faculty and administration at GW in order to provide students with the most well-rounded, educated frames of reference, and we feel the outwardly anti-Israel sentiment Professor Feldman has repeatedly demonstrated will prevent from doing so while simultaneously targeting Israeli and Jewish students who have already faced harsh discrimination and hatred,” the post states.

University spokeswoman Crystal Nosal said officials chose Feldman as the interim dean based on “strong support” within the Elliott School from  members like outgoing Dean Reuben Brigety, the Dean’s Council and “a number” of faculty members.

“As vice dean, Dr. Feldman has demonstrated her leadership ability and her respect for and commitment to all students, faculty and staff of the Elliott School community,” she said in an email.

Nosal declined to say if officials will reconsider Feldman’s appointment in light of the statement.

Officials announced Monday that Feldman will serve as the school’s interim dean starting at the end of the month. Brigety announced in February that he would step down as dean at the end of the semester to become the vice chancellor and president of Sewanee: The University of the South.

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