Nolan Drazin, a student at Georgetown University Law Center, was horrified by the October 7th Hamas terrorist attacks – the mass murder of 1,400 people, the maiming of thousands more, and the unconscionable acts of brutality inflicted upon the innocent civilians of Israel.
In the days following the barbarism, Georgetown Law had not taken formal action. Although the institution had previously issued public statements in regard to the Ukraine conflict, police shootings of African Americans, the alleged politicization of the Supreme Court, and many other instances deemed ‘troubling’ to the student body, there was no statement here. No statement was made to condemn Hamas or terrorism; no statement to express solidarity with the many Jewish and Israeli students on campus; no statement at all.
In this same period, members of the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter at Georgetown, among others, took to social media in celebration. Drazin’s law school peers openly denied the mass murder of children, while disputing the status of unarmed civilians – referring to them instead as ‘settlers’ and ‘combatants.’ The vile rhetoric continued, with praise being levelled on the measures of ‘resistance’ taken by the Hamas terrorists. Calls of ‘glory to [our] martyrs’ echoed throughout protests publicized and attended by these same individuals.
With many Jewish students feeling unsafe and abandoned by their educational institution, Drazin worked to co-found a new organization – ‘Georgetown Zionists.’ As co-President, he describes the group’s mission as advocacy for the Jewish people’s right to statehood in their ancestral homeland, to foster a sense of community among pro-Israel students and allies, and to raise awareness for the safety concerns affecting Jewish students in and around campus.
The group has grown rapidly, reaching 70 members within its first two weeks in operation –making it one of the largest student organizations at Georgetown Law. In this time, it has gained media attention, being featured on FOX News, NBC, OANN, Newsmax, and DW (Deutsche Welle).
On October 18th, Georgetown Zionists hosted its first event – a feature of Natalie Sanandaji, a survivor of the NOVA Music Festival massacre in southern Israel. In front of a live audience and on Zoom, Sanandaji recounted her experience of fleeing from the terrorists that killed 260 of her fellow festival attendees. Her harrowing story brought forth a call-to-action – people must realize what happened. The world must know that such acts are never acceptable, regardless of political aim or purpose. The murder of innocent civilians will never achieve a just goal, and such an attack must never be allowed to happen again.
Georgetown Zionists is planning a major pro-Israel community gathering on campus in the coming weeks. The ‘Community Call-In’ will include speakers, music, and singing. The goal is to exhibit the strength and determination of the Jewish people in and around D.C., while standing steadfast in their support for the State of Israel.
Despite this progress, the group has received callous opposition. Drazin, in addition to other executive members, have received numerous death threats and slanders. In one such case, a disgruntled individual made an attempt to locate his home address. Beyond the personal intimidations, the group’s Instagram page (@georgetown_law_zionists_) regularly receives threats of beheading, anti-Semitic tirades, and tags to graphic content.
Instead of backing down from the challenges and risks, Drazin and his fellow Georgetown Zionists remain committed to fighting for what is right. They believe that Israel deserves to exist in peace and security, and that Jews deserve to live without fear and discrimination. They hope that their group will inspire other pro-Israel students across the country to stand up for their values and beliefs.