Pro-Hamas Professor Leaves George Washington University for School in Hamas-Friendly Qatar

'This is an aligned professional and personal choice,' Lara Sheehi says of move to terror-tied nation

Lara Sheehi (Twitter)
January 5, 2024

George Washington University professor Lara Sheehi, who endorsed Hamas's Oct. 7 assault on Israel as "armed resistance" and allegedly discriminated against Jewish students, is leaving the school to teach at a college in Hamas-friendly Qatar.

Sheehi announced her impending departure in an email to fellow members of George Washington University's psychology program, calling the move to the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies "an aligned professional and personal choice," according to the Algemeiner. Hamas keeps an office in the city, where the terror group's leaders are known to live in luxury. That doesn't appear to bother Sheehi, who in the wake of Oct. 7 shared posts to her Instagram account describing Hamas terrorists as "martyrs" and endorsing their "armed resistance."

Sheehi's decision to leave George Washington University at the end of the year comes as the school faces an ongoing federal investigation into the professor's behavior. Sheehi's Jewish students last year filed a Title VI complaint against the professor, alleging that Sheehi harassed them, encouraged others to demean them, and disciplined them for speaking out.

"It's not your fault you were born in Israel," Sheehi told one student, according to a witness.

George Washington University tapped an outside law firm to conduct an investigation into Sheehi's behavior. That investigation, the school said in March 2023, found "no evidence substantiating the allegations." George Washington University refused to release the full report, and just days later, the Department of Education opened an investigation into the allegations leveled against Sheehi.

In addition to the report, George Washington University last year said that social media posts from Sheehi—one of which told supporters of Israel to "get fucked, you and your racist ass"—did not violate school policies. Sheehi has declared all Israelis "fucking racist," argued that the presence of Jewish students can inflict "violence," accused Zionists of suffering from a "settler psychosis," and denied that Hamas is a terrorist group.

"FUCK ZIONISM, ZIONISTS AND SETTLER COLONIALISM using Palestinian lives as examples of their boundless cruelty and power," Sheehi said in October 2020. "If you see this and STILL entertain for even a split second that Hamas is the terrorist entity, there is literally zero hope for you, your soul, or your general existence as an ethical human being in this world."

During her time at George Washington University, Sheehi focused on "decolonial and anti-oppressive approaches to psychoanalysis, with a focus on liberation struggles in the Global South," according to her Doha Institute for Graduate Studies faculty bio. Her future colleagues have also defended Hamas. Doha Institute professor Omar Ashour claimed during a November appearance on Al-Jazeera, Qatar's state-owned news network, that Hamas did not mean to take as many hostages as it did on Oct. 7.

"Monitoring [the hostages], providing security for them, even feeding them is probably an issue, so the lesser [Hamas captors] have, the more … they will have control over them," he said.