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The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Diversity, equity official to leave GW in July
By Jenna Lee, Assistant News Editor • June 8, 2024

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators project messages onto AIPAC headquarters

Onlookers+observe+the+pro-Palestinian+messages+projected+across+the+American+Israel+Public+Affairs+Committee+building.
Lexi Critchett | Assistant Photo Editor
Onlookers observe the pro-Palestinian messages projected across the American Israel Public Affairs Committee building.

More than 10 pro-Palestinian demonstrators, including two GW students, projected messages onto the headquarters of a major pro-Israel lobbying group and other buildings nearby Wednesday night.

Members of If Not Now, a pro-Palestinian Jewish organization, and Protect Our Power, an advocacy group for young progressive voters, projected messages critical of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee onto its building in Northwest D.C. at about 9:15 p.m. The messages included “Reject AIPAC,” “F*ck AIPAC” and “Save Palestinian Lives,” and is the latest D.C. protest calling for companies to stop supplying weapons to Israel and an end to the war in Gaza.

AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobbying group, has been one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the District for decades and advocates for Congress to send military aid to Israel.

Vincent Vertuccio, a junior majoring in political science, said the organizations chose to project messages as a form of protest because the AIPAC building houses officials who influence government decisions. AIPAC is the largest pro-Israel political action committee and funds all but 33 members of Congress. He said the groups wanted to address AIPAC officials directly.

“Projection is a really powerful way to bring our expression and our distaste for when the people wielding those power use it against our generation, directly to their buildings to make it clear in giant bold text,” Vertuccio said.

A GW student who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to fear of retaliation from AIPAC said as a Jewish student, they participated in the demonstration to show that AIPAC doesn’t speak for every Jewish American. They said protests against AIPAC are symbolic of larger issues on GW’s campus, adding that they believe some Jewish student organizations like GW For Israel have spoken on behalf of all Jewish students at the University but are not representative of all student opinions, citing GW for Israel’s call for officials to clear the encampment.

“It’s been an absolutely safe place for Jewish people, which they claim is untrue,” the student said. “Yet, they haven’t been to the encampment. So, I think it is emblematic of a larger problem.”

Nine Metropolitan Police Department officers surveyed the scene in their cars, but did not approach the demonstrators.

AIPAC tweeted in response to a photo of GW’s encampment Wednesday at 8:20 p.m. that the “peaceful protests” aren’t about Gaza or peace, but instead about “destroying the Jewish state.”

A Guardian analysis in January of congressional campaign data found that AIPAC and two other pro-Israel organizations donated about $58 million to Congress members in their most recent elections. The analysis also found that members of Congress who were supportive of Israel at the onset of the war in Gaza received about $100,000 more on average in donations from AIPAC and two other pro-Israel groups than other members.

The projections fall nearly a week after students from eight universities in the D.C. region began an encampment protest at GW in U-Yard and H Street on Thursday.

GW Students for Justice in Palestine projected messages criticizing Israel, GW and University President Ellen Granberg onto Gelman Library in October. The demonstration sparked the attention of advocacy groups, U.S. senators and millions of viewers on X, formerly known as Twitter. Officials suspended the group from hosting and participating in on-campus activities and from using University facilities until mid-February.

Members of the Palestinian Youth Movement, Maryland 2 Palestine and Party for Socialism and Liberation, protested outside the AIPAC headquarters in March calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

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About the Contributors
Hannah Marr, News Editor
Hannah Marr, a sophomore double majoring in journalism and mass communication and history from New York, New York, leads the Administration and Finance beat as one of The Hatchet's 2024-25 news editors. She was previously the assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
Rory Quealy, News Editor
Rory Quealy is a sophomore majoring in journalism and mass communications from La Grange, Illinois. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2024-25 news editors. She was previously the assistant news editor for the Health and Research beat and a research assistant.
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