OverviewMorgan Richmeier has threatened to “physically fight" Zionists, spread hatred of Israel and America and defended violent protests, as an activist with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at George Washington University (GWU).
She is an activist within the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and promoted [01:21:13] the 2018 #DivestThisTime BDS campaign at GWU, led by SJP at GWU activists.
In January 2018, Richmeier identified herself on Twitter as an activist with the anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) organization. In December 2017, Richmeier participated [00:07:40] in the #returnthebirthright initiative launched by JVP to oppose Jewish youth heritage trips to Israel sponsored by Birthright Israel (Birthright).
Richmeier is also affiliated with American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).
As of February 2019, Richmeier’s LinkedIn page said she was studying for a bachelor’s degree in “Interior Architecture" at GWU, slated to graduate in 2021.
As of February 2019, Richmeier’s LinkedIn page said she was an Administrative Assistant at Fragomen and Humanities Editor for the George Washington Undergraduate Review from February 2018 through May 2018.
Spreading Hatred of IsraelOn July 5, 2018, Richmeier tweeted that Israel is a “racist settler colonial project that kills innocent Palestinian civilians every week and routinely denies equal rights to African Jewish refugees."
On June 8, 2018, Richmeier tweeted an image of draft tweets, including one that read: “Hey if you’re WHITE and you move en masse to any non-white place uhhhh you’re like uhh probably a colonizer @ israelis."
Richmeier retweeted a March 17, 2018 tweet showing photos of murals, including one that said: “END GENOCIDE IN GAZA."
On March 5, 2018, Richmeier tweeted: “Yesterday at the barricades. We pushed them forward by like 4 feet and got right in the cops faces. F**k the Israel lobby."
The tweet showed two photos from a rally against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). One photo showed Richmeier next to police barricades while other showed a sign demanding the “right of return."
On January 20, 2018, Richmeier wrote “#freeahed" on Instagram, in support of anti-israel agitator Ahed Tamimi.
Ahed Tamimi was detained after she was filmed punching and kicking Israeli soldiers. She has a long history of physically attacking Israeli soldiers.
Tamimi is the daughter of Bassem Tamimi, who is notorious for exploiting young children as political props in staged confrontations with Israeli soldiers. In 2011, he was jailed for organizing violent rallies and inciting minors to commit violent crimes such as rock-throwing.
On December 8, 2017, Richmeier tweeted a photo of herself at an AMP rally and wrote: “Prayer with American Muslims for Palestine and then protesting the f**k out of American support for Israeli imperialism."
AMP organized the protest against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The keynote speaker was Sheikh Omar Suleiman, who has called for a “3rd Intifada" to destroy Israel.
Spreading Hatred of AmericaOn June 17, 2018, Richmeier tweeted: “Abolish the United States of America."
On June 2, 2018, Richmeier tweeted: “This guy at this party on Thursday obviously liked me and then I said ‘I don’t believe in the United States, like, it shouldn’t exist’ and it was all downhill from there."
On April 22, 2018, Richmeier tweeted: “Oh hey - f**k the idea that I share a common interest with someone because we’re both American. I share a common interest with someone if they are 1) human and 2) not a capitalist. That’s it. That’s literally f**king it. F**k the identity of the empire."
In the same thread, she tweeted: “The context in which it is appropriate to adopt the identity of the American is when I’m criticizing the empire and my role in it."
On October 25, 2017, Richmeier tweeted: “The constitution is fake." On the same day Richmeier tweeted:“I don't believe in American law."
Defending Violent ProtestsOn March 31, 2018, Richmeier referred on Facebook to a Hamas-led protest on the Israeli-Gaza border as a “peaceful protest." She also demonized Israeli security measures taken against rioters who were attempting to breach the border fence.
The “right of return" is a Palestinian demand discredited as a means to eliminate Israel.
BDS ActivismOn April 24, 2018, Richmeier posted a photo to Instagram of herself with other anti-Israel activists, including one holding a sign that said: “When People are Occupied, Resistance is Justified."
She wrote: “very proud to organize with my fellow class of ‘21 babies. Get ready for three more years of us, GW."
On April 23, 2018, Richmeier spoke [01:21:13] before the GWU Student Association (SA) to promote the #DivestThisTime BDS resolution.
The resolution implied that “Israel is the worst apartheid regime" and that Israel imposes “forced labour" on Palestinians. It also implied that Israel divides “its population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups."
The resolution portrayed Israeli military campaigns against Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) as deliberate attempts to kill children and civilians.
Israel commenced Operations Cast Lead (OCL), Pillar of Defense (OPD) and Protective Edge (OPE) in 2008-09, 2012 and 2014 respectively, in order to stop Hamas rocket fire from Gaza targeting Israeli civilians.
On April 10, 2018, Richmeier posted a photo to Instagram promoting #DivestThisTime, which she referred to as “DTT." She also claimed that GWU supports “militarized repression" and the “occupation of Palestine."
On March 24, 2018, Richmeier posted a photo of herself on Facebook holding a sign that promoted the 2018 #DivestThisTime BDS campaign. The sign accused GWU of “war profiteering." She appeared in the same photo on the same day on the #DivestThisTime Facebook page.
On March 24, 2018, Richmeier appeared [00:01:24] in the #DivestThisTime promotional Facebook video.
Anti-Israel ActivismOn March 5, 2018, Richmeier tweeted: “Yesterday at the barricades. We pushed them forward by like 4 feet and got right in the cops faces. F**k the Israel lobby."
The tweet showed two photos from a rally against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). One photo showed Richmeier next to police barricades while another showed a sign demanding the “right of return."
On March 4, 2018, Richmeier appeared [00:00:53] in a Youtube video from a rally that day against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The stated mission of AIPAC is to “strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of the United States and Israel."
Abbas Hamideh, the head of Al-Awda - The Palestine Right of Return Movement, organized the rally. Hamideh has been called out for spreading anti-Semitism and expressing support for terrorists on social media.
At the rally, Hamideh said [00:02:23]: “There is no other classification for AIPAC other than being a criminal lobby that controls American foreign affairs ..."
On February 5, 2018, Richmeier shared an event page on Facebook publicizing a general meeting for JVP at GW.
Return the Birthright CampaignOn December 3, 2017, Richmeier participated in [00:06:20] a JVP-organized Return the Birthright protest, outside the Birthright offices in New York City.
After decades of demographic decline in the American Jewish community, Birthright set out “to strengthen Jewish identity, build a lasting bond with the land and people of Israel, and reinforce the solidarity of Jewish people worldwide." The program offers “the gift of a life-changing, 10-day trip to Israel to young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 and 26."
JVP’s anti-Birthright campaign was launched precisely to coincide with “the very moment that college students across America are returning to campus and registration for Birthright winter visits are underway."
The #returnthebirthright manifesto accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing" and alleged “the modern state of Israel is predicated on the ongoing erasure of Palestinians."
The text claimed: “We reject the offer of a free trip to a state that does not represent us, a trip that is only ‘free’ because it has been paid for by the dispossession of Palestinians."
The manifesto concluded: “And as we reject this, we commit to promoting the right to return of Palestinian refugees… Israel is not our Birthright… Return the Birthright."
On June 22, 2017, just prior to the launch of JVP’s #returnthebirthright campaign, JVP received a $140,00 two-year grant for general support for its operations from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF).
Since 2015, JVP has received $280,000 from RBF, which has a history of supporting anti-Jewish causes, including BDS campaigns and various organizations that promote BDS campaigns throughout the United States.
#DivestThisTime at GWU 2018 - Instigated by SJP at GWUOn March 24, 2018, student groups at GWU launched the second BDS campaign in two years; both were titled “#DivestThisTime." Activists with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at GWU (SJP at GWU) led both campaigns.
On the campaign launch day, #DivestThisTime released a Facebook promotional video, in which activists alleged [00:01:23] that Israel has committed “crimes against humanity." They also claimed [00:03:34] that Palestinians are “bombed every day" and blamed [00:02:06] Israeli for police violence against black Americans in Ferguson, Missouri.
SJP at GWU held five events leading up to the launch of #DivestThisTime, which formed part of its 2018 Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). IAW is presented as “an international series of events that seek to raise awareness of Israel’s settler-colonial project and apartheid system over the Palestinian people" and build support for the BDS movement.
#DivestThisTime at GWU 2018 - Demonizing IsraelOn April 23-24, 2018, the GWU Student Association (SA) held a hearing and vote on the BDS resolution. At least 18 SJP at GWU activists and affiliates addressed [01:07:50] the SA in defense of the resolution, where it passed [00:21:53] via [00:11:14] a secret ballot with 18 votes for, six against and six abstentions.
During the hearing, many Jewish students said [01:09:05] they experienced [01:24:45] anti-Semitism related to #DivestThisTime. One student spoke [00:50:40] about the Jewish community’s pain when “this hateful and divisive resolution was proposed over Passover." One Jewish Israeli-American student said [00:48:05] it “creates an environment where I am made to feel that my identity is taboo" at GWU.
One black Jewish student said [01:39:24] that an SJP activist told him he was “weaponizing" his identity when he asked why a clause mentioning the “discriminatory conditions black people face in the Gaza Strip under Palestinian leadership" was omitted from the resolution.
SJP at GWU activists mocked [00:52:48] or dismissed [00:39:50] concerns over anti-Semitism. Other resolution supporters voiced agreement [00:45:40] with the SJP at GWU activists, including one who claimed [01:04:13] that resolution opponents were stoking “racial fears and sowing the divisions."
A number of Jewish students walked out [00:35:19] of the hearing to protest [00:33:21] the resolution and to protest the SA’s inaction to combat anti-Semitism within its own ranks.
On April 24, 2018, three of the four resolution co-sponsors — Joshua Gomez, Eden Vitoff and Shaheera Jalil Albasit — voted [00:09:59] against an amendment [00:07:15] that said: “Palestinians and Israelis, like all people, have the right to safety, security, and self-determination" and “Israel is a state and has the right to exist." Jessica Martinez, the other co-sponsor, abstained [00:10:06].
On May 10, 2018, Al Jazeera published a report on Youtube about #DivestThisTime. SJP at GWU activists spoke [00:01:47] to passers-by on campus and stood next to a display [00:01:43] labeled the “Israeli Apartheid Wall" that demonized Israel’s security barrier.
SJP was co-founded in 2001 at the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) by Professors Hatem Bazian and Snehal Shingavi. Bazian served as president of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) while studying at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and headed the Muslim Students Association (MSA) while earning his M.A. at UC Berkeley. In 2004, while the second intifada was already winding down in Israel, he called for an intifada in the United States.
Shingavi, an activist tied to the International Socialist Organization (ISO), has been criticized for using his literature course as a vehicle for promoting anti-Israel propaganda. SJP has grown to become the primary student movement advancing the Palestinian national agenda on North American campuses and is the primary force behind BDS campaigns at most schools.
SJP activists frequently intimidate and harass Jewish and pro-Israel students. SJP members have physically assaulted Jewish students, aggressively disrupted pro-Israel events and possibly vandalized communal property. SJP rallies regularly include hate-speech and chants such as "Long Live The Intifada" and "From the River to the Sea Palestine will be Free" — calls for violence and for the destruction of the Jewish state.
SJP chapters frequently run inflammatory campaigns against Israel, including BDS resolutions, rallies, Israel-Apartheid initiatives, propaganda comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, mock checkpoints and "die-ins."
The BDS movement was founded in 2005 by Omar Barghouti and asserts that it "works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law."
The movement's most notable achievement has been the infiltration of university campuses through lobbying for "BDS resolutions." In these cases, backed by university anti-Israel affiliates, student governments have brought to vote on some form of boycott of — or divestment from — Israel and Israeli-affiliated entities. These resolutions, although non-binding, have been passed by student governments on numerous North American campuses.
BDS activity is often aggressive and disruptive. It has been noted that universities that pass BDS resolutions see a marked increase in anti-Semitic incidents on campus. In 2013, when the student government of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) debated a BDS resolution, reports emerged of violent threats and the spitting on a student wearing a Star of David necklace. As a result, the student government chose to vote via a "secret ballot" in order to ensure its members' safety.
JVP was founded in Berkeley, California in 1996, as an activist group with an emphasis on the "Jewish tradition" of peace, social justice and human rights. The organization is currently led by Rebecca Vilkomerson and its board members include controversial Israel critics Naomi Klein, Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky and Tony Kushner.
JVP, which generally employs civil disobedience tactics like disrupting pro-Israel speakers and events, consists of American Jews and non-Jewish "allies" highly critical of Israeli policies. A staunch supporter of the BDS movement, JVP claims to aim its campaigns at companies that either support the Israeli military (Hewlett-Packard) or are active in the West Bank (SodaStream).
Although several Jewish groups critical of Israeli policies, like J Street and Partners for a Progressive Israel, make efforts to operate within the mainstream American Jewish community, JVP functions outside. The group is often criticized for serving as a tokenized Jewish voice for the pro-Palestinian camp and is widely regarded as the BDS movement's "Jewish wing."
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has accused JVP of being "the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group in the United States," and said the group "exploits Jewish culture and rituals to reassure its own supporters that opposition to Israel not only does not contradict, but is actually consistent with, Jewish values... JVP consistently co-sponsors rallies to oppose Israeli military policy that are marked by signs and slogans comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, demonizing Jews and voicing support for groups like Hamas and Hezbollah."
According to the ADL website, JVP "uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and provide it with a greater degree of legitimacy and credibility."
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