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Thursday, May 23, 2024
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BREAKING: ‘Hateful and threatening’ anti-Palestinian note found in Palestinian staff member’s office

University is collaborating with FBI on investigation

A piece of paper with an anti-Palestinian message was found in a Palestinian staff member’s Kerwin Hall office, according to a Wednesday email from President Sylvia Burwell.

The note, which was posted on AU Students for Justice in Palestine’s Instagram story, read “GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM” and “DEATH TO ALL PALESTINIANS!”

Burwell condemned the note as “vile and dehumanizing” in the email, writing “No act of hate will deter us from supporting community members who are not only feeling the pain and weight of traumatic global events, but also the vulnerability of being subject to hateful acts in our own community.”

Following antisemitic vandalism in Letts Hall last week, Burwell wrote that the University is partnering with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate both incidents. 

“Anyone found responsible for these acts will be subject to relevant laws, university policies, and appropriate disciplinary actions,” Burwell wrote. Burwell also wrote that the University is supporting the staff member affected.

Burwell acknowledged heightened Islamophobia and antisemitism on campus following Israel’s declaration of war on Hamas after the group’s Oct. 7 attacks.

“To those who are responsible for the anti-Palestinian and antisemitic acts we have witnessed over the last several days, you do not represent the American University community,” Burwell wrote. “We will take clear and consequential action against those found responsible for these threatening acts.”

AUPD is asking that anyone with information contact them directly or submit anonymous tips through the RAVE Guardian app.

Faculty and staff seeking assistance can contact the School of Public Affairs Dean’s Office at (202) 885-2940, HR employee relations at (202) 885-2607 or

This article was edited by Abigail Hatting, Jordan Young and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks.

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