Rasha Anayah is a chemistry graduate student and teaching assistant (TA) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). While attending U.C. Berkeley between 2013-2017, she co-founded Berkeley’s chapter of ‘Bears for Palestine‘, known for promoting antisemitism and glorifying terrorism. At JHU she acted as the treasurer of the antisemitic group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in 2020.
In November 2020, Rasha tweeted an antisemitic poll asking her followers: “Ethical dilemma: if you have to grade Zionist students exams, do you still give them all their points even though they support your ethnic cleansing? Like idk.”
The two answer choices she provided were: “Yes. Be a good TA” or “Free Palestine! Fail them.” The results of the poll show that 22.2 percent voted for the first response, while 77.8 percent voted in favor of Rasha failing students on the basis of their Jewish affiliation.
Five days after the poll was posted, Rasha tweeted more controversial commentaries. The tweets included racial comments and mocked a Jewish student who had taken a Birthright trip to Israel.
Despite the targeted tweets, Rasha Anayah claims she has always acted with “the utmost integrity and fairness” while grading students and sees herself as a victim of the entire situation.
In December 2020, JHU Provost Sunil Kumar and Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Christopher Celenza issued a statement that the university does not “tolerate any link between academic grading and bias and have taken all necessary steps to ensure that does not occur.”
The University’s Hillel called upon students to contact its office if they suspected the teaching assistant intentionally lowered their grade due to suspected bias. In addition, several faculty members at JHU penned a letter to the administration alleging this is not an isolated incident at the school but rather “part of an emerging pattern”.
We stand with the Jewish students and faculty members at Johns Hopkins University that feel targeted at the hands of Rasha Anayah and trust the school Administration’s investigation handles antisemitism as they would other forms of racism – with a no nonsense approach.