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Israa Elhalawany


Israa Elhalawany co-sponsored a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement  resolution at Loyola University Chicago (Loyola), where she served as a student senator in 2015.

Elhalawany was also a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Loyola. She was censured by the judicial board of the Loyola student government for breaching ethics standards, in 2014. 

As of August 2018, Elhalawany’s LinkedIn page said she was an Executive Recruiter at Ajilon and a 2015 graduate of Loyola, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She also studied broadcast journalism at the Illinois Media School in 2016.

BDS Campus Activism

In 2015, Elhalawany co-sponsored a Loyola Divestment resolution which called for the university to divest from “Companies Profiting from the Illegal Occupation of the Palestinian Territory To ensure adherence to Loyola’s University Chicago’s Socially Responsible Investment Policy. 

The resolution resolved to urge the Loyola’s Chief Investment Office to “create and enforce a publicly available socially responsible investment policy and the Shareholder Advocacy Committee that will ensure that Loyola is upholding its Jesuit Catholic mission and Jesuit values in regard to investments” and,divest from “corporations profiting from human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people.”

The resolution, which was the third such proposed in as many years, passed on March 24, 2015, after an initial tie vote. In response to the resolution, Loyola University President Michael J. Garanzini wrote an open letter, titled “Endorsing a Community of Dialogue,” to the student body. Garanzini’s letter decried the divestment resolution as a divisive, harmful and ineffective way to conduct discourse about the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories. 

Censured by Student Government

On September 16, 2014, Elhalawany was formally censured by the judicial board of the Loyola student government for breaking the student government’s standards on “ethical behavior within the public sphere.”

The censure referred to Facebook posts written by Elhalawany during the summer of 2014 “in response to the attacks on Gaza.” The judicial board took issue with the “unprofessional” manner in which Elhalawany expressed herself, and noted that she “corrected her behavior by ceasing to include any profanity or expletives in her posts.”

Israel commenced Operation Protective Edge (OPE) in July 2014, to stop rocket fire targeting Israeli civilians and to destroy Hamas attack tunnels.  

On July 27, 2014, Elhalawany reportedly tweeted a picture of herself at an anti-Israel rally next to a woman holding a sign that read “ “Well done Israel, Hitler would be proud.”

The judicial board voted 3-2 to censure Elhalawany once, but unanimously against censuring her twice. 

Three of the board’s members, including its chief justice, were also chapter members of Students for Justice in Palestine. The chapter members on the judicial board reportedly “did not recuse themselves from this case because judicial [sic] would not have been able to meet quorum otherwise.” 

Loyola SJP Harassing Jewish Students

In November 2015, Loyola SJP was sanctioned with probation and “dialogue training” after the group surrounded and disrupted a Hillel student group tabling for Birthright heritage trips to Israel. Hillel was processing applications for the trip at their table. 

Loyola SJP members formed a human wall in a reported attempt to block Hillel’s tabling to advertise the trip and reportedly accosted Hillel students with “a variety of insults,” asking: "How does it feel to be an occupier?" and "How does it feel to be guilty of ethnic cleansing?" 

Loyola SJP was later “found responsible” for not adhering to the university's free expression and demonstration policy, was put on probation for the rest of the academic year and was directed to attend “intergroup dialogue training.” 

Social Media and Weblinks

Photos & Screenshots

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Infamous Quotes

“Israel is deliberately killing children and calling it ‘self defense.’ ”
“My name is Israa Elhalawany from chicago, IL and I #supportGaza because too many innocent lives have been taken by the evil Israel.”