Georgetown Law Professor Published Anti-Semitic Screeds to School's Scholarly Article Database. When We Asked Questions, She Scrubbed Them.

Lama Abu-Odeh, who teaches seminar on conservative legal thought, tells reporter to 'f— off'

Georgetown Law School campus
Georgetown Law School campus (Wikimedia Commons)
March 20, 2024

At Georgetown Law School, professors are encouraged to publish their academic work to the school's "Scholarly Commons," an online portal that serves as a "repository" for journal articles and other materials. This year's submissions include lengthy papers on privacy law, tort liability, and First Amendment disputes.

In recent months, however, one Georgetown Law professor, Lama Abu-Odeh, has submitted "working papers" to the portal that stand out from the rest. They have no academic citations and make no reference to legal disputes or precedent. Instead, they consist of Abu-Odeh's ramblings on the "genocide in Gaza"—ramblings that in some cases invoke age-old anti-Semitic tropes.

In one paper titled, "Gaza Shoah: Zionism's Efficacious Role as Ideological Supplement in the US," Abu-Odeh describes Israel as an "apartheid state," lauds "resistance to the Zionist project," and argues that Hamas terrorists did not rape Israelis on Oct. 7. She also accuses Jews of controlling the media and paying black people to support Israel.

"It is true that the American political class, Democrats and Republicans alike, is on AIPAC's dole," Abu-Odeh writes. "It is also true that legacy media is dominated by Zionist Jews."

"Many boomer blacks, faced with Israel vs Palestinians would side with the former given a sense of loyalty to the joint struggle," she continues. "Sometimes it felt like the less exacting choice as the upward mobility of some blacks depended on Jewish largesse on offer in the various institutions they worked."

Abu-Odeh published the working paper on Jan. 3. Roughly two months later, she posted a follow-up titled, "Gaza Shoah 11: The Frankenstein State of Israel," which paints Israel as "Frankenstein’s monster" because it "has a fascination with limbs" and is bent on "dismantling Palestine into disparate territories."

Abu-Odeh's papers reflect the proliferation of anti-Semitism on college campuses in the wake of Hamas's attack on the Jewish state. Abu-Odeh joined Georgetown in 1999 after stints at Stanford Law School and Harvard Law School, according to her academic bio. She teaches two seminars at Georgetown: Conservative Legal and Political Thought and Human Rights and its Discontents. She also served as a United Nations elections observer in South Africa and is part of Georgetown's "Gender Justice Initiative." In 2021, she criticized Georgetown's diversity, equity, and inclusion bureaucracy for targeting a fellow law professor who was deemed to have made a racist comment about black students.

In many cases, that anti-Semitism has come from faculty members. At Georgetown, for example, administrators placed faculty member Aneesa Johnson on administrative leave over social media posts that referred to Jews as "Zio bitches," "dogs," and devils.

Abu-Odeh told the Washington Free Beacon that her papers are works in progress and will eventually include citations. She also defended her assertion that Hamas terrorists did not commit rape on Oct. 7, pointing to Max Blumenthal, an anti-Israel author who has defended Hamas and accused the "Israel lobby" of hacking the brain of Israel-supporting senator John Fetterman (D., Pa.).

"When the piece is ready for submission to a publication it will include citations," Abu-Odeh said in an email. "The charge that Hamas committed rapes has been refuted abundantly by reporters like Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate from the Grayzone, Ali Abu Neimeh from Electronic Intifada, and Briahna Joy Gray from Rising."

"And lastly f— off," she said.

It's unclear whether Abu-Odeh still intends to finish the papers. After her email exchange with the Free Beacon, the papers were withdrawn from Georgetown Law's "Scholarly Commons." The Free Beacon obtained copies of both articles, which can be viewed here and here.

For Ilya Shapiro, a former Georgetown Law administrator and current Manhattan Institute senior fellow, Abu-Odeh's posts look "like something a sophomore would write at two in the morning after drinking a bit too much."

"It's bad scholarship, there are no citations, and the footnotes don't provide any sources," Shapiro told the Free Beacon. "This is indeed an anti-Semitic screed worth absolutely nothing. … There's even typos. This is not scholarship. I wouldn't take a class from her."

Georgetown Law did not return a request for comment on whether it was aware of Abu-Odeh's posts and how the school intends to respond to them.

The school has a history of investigating faculty over political speech—in 2022, it launched a months-long investigation into Shapiro over social media posts that criticized President Joe Biden's pledge to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court.

"If there was a screed like this from the right, I mean, that person would be strung up and investigated to death," Shapiro said of Abu-Odeh.

In addition to her anti-Semitic rhetoric on Jewish control over media and financial institutions, Abu-Odeh said conservatives are "stuck" on Oct. 7, accusing them of harboring a "fetishistic focus on 'Jewish injury.'" She specifically mentioned SiriusXM's Megyn Kelly as an example of a "stuck" conservative, though she misspelled Kelly's name and called her a "shiksa," a term of Yiddish origin that refers to a non-Jewish woman.

"She is stuck on October 7th, a fetishistic focus on 'Jewish injury' that apparently justifies everything that happened afterwards," Abu-Odeh's January paper states. "Kelly's nostalgia is for September 11 and the war on terror; a nostalgia for an incinerating imperial machine that can lay waste to all those brown people!"

In her March follow-up paper, meanwhile, Abu-Odeh refers to Israel as an "inorganic monstrosity that is overwhelmed with envy and rage at every thing [sic] that is real."

"Whether formed of a psychotic delusion or confused about the love or hate of its creator, or constantly directing its rage against the innocent, the Frankenstein monster of Israel roams the land confused, hated, and angry," she writes. "It is particularly enraged by the precious relationship between mother and child in Gaza as it keeps ripping at that most holy of bonds by killing one or the other or both."

"Having ripped the relationship of Palestinians to their own land, it has moved to rip their very relationship to existence."