DNC Weighs Disaffiliation From College Dems Amid Anti-Semitism Scandal

VP Nourhan Mesbah faces calls for her resignation over anti-Semitic tweets

Nourhan Mesbah (
November 18, 2021

The Democratic National Committee is considering disaffiliating from College Democrats as the national student organization faces fallout from an anti-Semitism scandal.

Anti-Semitic comments from the organization's new vice president, Nourhan Mesbah, have prompted calls for her resignation from College Democrat members—a push Muslim advocacy groups are calling "Islamophobic." In response to the conflict, the DNC is weighing disaffiliation from the student organization, which includes more than 500 campus chapters across the country.

"They are caught up in their own drama and playing 'Boys State' government," a Democratic official told Politico. "They think they're the hottest s— on Earth."

The College Democrats' Jewish Caucus called on Mesbah to resign in September after her anti-Semitic tweets resurfaced, the Washington Free Beacon reported at the time. In one post, Mesbah blamed the "yahood," an Arabic word for Jews, for Hillary Clinton's performance against Donald Trump in a 2016 presidential debate. In the tweet, Mesbah tagged Dima Jubara, an acquaintance who has tweeted that she prays "God will kill the Jews."

Mesbah apologized for her tweets in a statement, saying they were "in no way rooted in malice or anti-Semitism" and attributed them to her "different regional dialectic linguist comprehension" as an immigrant from North Africa. The College Democrat official also said she has faced harassment over the tweets, which "is never acceptable but unfortunately all too common for Muslim, immigrant women of color who often face bigoted targeting unique to our experience."

A new report from College Democrats' director of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access reignited the controversy last week after the group concluded Mesbah's tweet was anti-Semitic and that her accusations of Islamophobia are "unfounded." The report also claimed Mesbah has demonstrated "a pattern of discrimination against members of the black community, specifically black women."

In response, a spate of Muslim and pro-Palestinian advocacy groups have defended Mesbah, who faces renewed calls from College Democrat members for her resignation. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has faced allegations that it helped fundraise for Hamas, defended Mesbah in a letter last week, calling for an investigation into "widespread anti-Muslim bigotry within" College Democrats.

A coalition of Muslim advocacy groups, including CAIR and American Muslims for Palestine, also denounced the College Democrats board's requirement that Mesbah undergo "cultural sensitivity" training with the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, or U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. In a letter last week to College Democrats' leadership, the groups said ADL and AJC have "a history of anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian actions" and claimed the Democratic student organization is "tolerating an environment hostile toward Muslims within the organization."

The College Democrats' scandal comes as the Democratic Party confronts growing anti-Semitism among its ranks. "Squad" member Ilhan Omar (Minn.) has said her Jewish Democratic colleagues "haven't been partners in justice" and faced widespread criticism from her party in 2019 when she said U.S. support for Israel is "all about the Benjamins."

"A number of Omar's fellow Democrats believe Omar is an anti-Semite, even if they don't say so publicly," Punchbowl News reported in June.