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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Students say posters depicting Israeli hostages torn down in GW Hillel building

File Photo by Phebe Grosser | Staff Photographer
GW’s Hillel building on the corner of 23rd and H streets in August 2021.

Updated: Nov. 3, 2023 at 9:10 p.m.

Students said more than a dozen posters depicting Israeli hostages appear to have been torn down inside the GW Hillel building Friday.

Noah Shapiro, the director of first-year experience with GW Hillel, said he found the posters had been removed from the building’s first-floor glass windows when he arrived at about 5:15 p.m. He said earlier in the afternoon, there was an approximately 45-minute long period when no one was staffing the front desk, meaning no one saw who took down the posters.

“Someone got in somehow,” Shapiro said. “They might have tapped in and just came in while no one was here.”

It was not immediately clear who tore down the posters.

University spokesperson Julia Metjian said the GW Police Department is working with the Metropolitan Police Department to investigate reports of the posters’ removal.

The posters, which people around the country have hung on college campuses and sidewalks, depict photos of Israelis who were reportedly taken hostage by Hamas during the militant group’s Oct. 7 attack.


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GW Hillel posted a photo of some of the posters on Oct. 19, each saying “KIDNAPPED” with the name of an Israeli person, from as young as 3 years old to as old as 62. Hillel’s posters were located on the windows facing H and 23rd streets.

Anti-Israel activists have torn down posters on college campuses and cities nationwide, including at the University of Southern California and George Mason University.

The windows of the Hillel building facing H Street still had blue tape on the inside where the posters originally were. Posters on Hillel’s inner wall remained intact.

GW Hillel was set to host an “unplugged” Shabbat dinner for students at 7:15 p.m. Friday, offering meditation services before the dinner at 6:30 p.m. Hillel continued the night’s programming.

Officials bolstered security measures around campus this weekend due to “heightened” safety concerns related to planned activism around the District. From Friday through Monday, all buildings on the Foggy Bottom campus require GWorld for access, and the GW Police Department increased its patrols on campus.

Alana Mondschein — the co-president of the Jewish Student Association, which often partners with Hillel — said the posters Hillel put up for a speaker event Monday remained intact.

Shapiro said the person tore down the posters and left. He said GWPD officers arrived by about 5:45 p.m. and are investigating.

“They were here almost immediately,” Shapiro said.

He said because no one saw the person enter, they do not know whether the person used a GWorld card to access the building.

“No one was here to stop anyone from doing something like that,” Shapiro said.

This story is developing and will be updated.

This story was updated to include the following:

This post was updated to include a statement from Metjian on GW and MPD’s investigation into the poster removal.

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About the Contributor
Erika Filter, News Editor
Erika Filter is a senior majoring in international affairs from Carson City, Nevada. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2023-2024 news editors and previously served as the assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
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