Georgetown Law students protest IDF reservist they say is 'likely' guilty of 'war crimes'

Students at Georgetown University Law Center protested against a campus speaker, Rudy Rochman, who is an IDF reservist.

The law center's Students for Justice in Palestine chapter organized the protest, while Rochman reportedly maintained a calm demeanor during the demonstration.

Pro-Palestine students at the Georgetown University Law Center held a protest on March 21 because of a speaker on campus who is a reservist with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

According to National Review, Rudy Rochman was invited to speak by a student organization called the Georgetown Law Zionists.

Two days before Rochman was scheduled to speak, the Georgetown Law Students for Justice in Palestine group posted information about a planned protest to its Instagram account.

[RELATED: A history of Students for Justice in Palestine, the anti-Israel group behind recent campus controversy]

“Please join us at 7PM this Thursday (3/21) near the clock tower between McDonough and Hotung buildings to protest the presence of an IOF soldier on campus,” the anti-Israel group wrote.

“IOF” is a pejorative acronym the SJP chapter uses for the Israeli military, meaning “Israeli Occupation Forces.

The Instagram post also included a statement condemning the IDF, contending that “IDF soldiers are sent to campuses across the U.S. to whitewash Israel’s actions in Gaza” and that “[t]he IDF has been the main vehicle for Israel to commit its war crimes in Gaza.”

The SJP group did not contend that Rochman in particular had done anything wrong, but instead argued that his “proximity” to the counteroffensive in Gaza made him potentially complicit in what the group termed “genocide.”

“Although we cannot tell for certain what actions Mr. Rochman engaged in, his proximity to these crimes make it likely that he contributed to the war crimes and genocide in Gaza,” the group wrote in its statement on Instagram.

The SJP group also published a joint statement with the “Jewish Students for Justice” in denouncing the event.

“Mr. Rochman is a sniper in the airborne paratrooper reserves, which was the first unit to enter Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip during the ongoing genocide,” the statement reads. “Mr. Rochman’s presence is inconsistent with the law school’s values and threatens the safe learning environment for Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim students on campus.”

According to National Review, the protesters began their demonstrations around 15 minutes into the event while holding pro-Palestine signs and wearing shirts with anti-Israel slogans.

Julia Wax-Vanderwiel, the founder of the Georgetown Law Zionists, told National Review that one of the protesters had hands painted red for blood. She also said that she believed the protester was recreating a famous image of a member of a mob in Ramallah holding up his hands covered in blood after the stabbing of two Israelis in 2000.

“Right when [the demonstrators] were about to walk out, she put her hands up like the guy in Ramallah,” Wax-Vanderwiel told the outlet. “It was very clear, from my perspective, that she was recreating the image.”

[RELATED: Faculty for Justice in Palestine groups form, emulating anti-Israel student organization]

In spite of the display, Wax-Vanderwiel noted that Rochman displayed a calm reaction to the hostile demonstration.

“When [the protesters] stood up and walked to the side of the room, Rochman said, ‘you guys are more than welcome to do that,’ and he just kept giving his speech,” she told National Review.

Campus Reform has contacted Georgetown University Law Center for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.