A timeline of CWRU and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict

March 29, 2018

Resolution 27-04 is the first to call for Case Western Reserve University to “divest from all holdings with companies involved with occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.” It is introduced by Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Treasurer Tim O’Shea and representative Andrew Thompson. The original introduction date would coincided with the Jewish holiday of Passover, leading to a Change.org petition and a delay in its introduction. After considering moving the resolution to April 10, USG’s executive committee then pulls it all together from its agenda.

April 10, 2018

At the General Assembly (GA), through the Open Forum, the resolution is formally introduced. However, a two-thirds majority of representatives elect to withhold the legislative proposal. The bill’s sponsors claim this is unconstitutional and without precedent.

April 22, 2018

After the resolution is dismissed in the GA, O’Shea claims USG felt a considerable amount of backlash, leading to an emergency meeting. A later letter to the editor notes that not enough representatives showed up, leading to a lack of quorum.



March 15, 2022

Resolution 31-15 is originally introduced during the 2021-22 academic year, but it faces immediate pushback by elected representatives and also CWRU administration. Here, the university makes it clear that it will not follow through with the divestment regardless if a bill passes.

Sept. 6, 2022

The first instance of Resolution 31-15 being introduced comes in an email from the Vice President of Communications regarding the GA. It is also discussed on Sept. 20, 2021 before being pushed back until the Nov. 8, 2022 GA.





Nov. 8, 2022

Moved from its normal location in Adelbert Hall to Tinkham Veale University Center to accommodate the anticipated attendance, the GA has a discussion before voting on Resolution 31-15. It calls for the university to investigate and suspend its investments to companies that fund the occupation of Palestine. The resolution passes with 35 voting yes, 17 voting no and seven abstaining. Former USG President Ananya Hari notes in a follow up email that “[a]ll parties on Tuesday participated in a peaceful, open dialogue.”

Nov. 9, 2022 

President Eric Kaler condemns Resolution 31-15, calling it “naïve,” “profoundly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.” Local news outlets catch wind of this email, propelling CWRU into the national spotlight.

Oct. 9 2023

Two days after the start of the Israel-Hamas war, Kaler releases a statement expressing his “condolences to all those affected by the tragic loss of life and the human suffering resulting from the violence occurring in Israel and Gaza.”

Oct. 13, 2023

Later that same week, Kaler writes to the university community to acknowledge “the level of terrorist violence by Hamas against Israel” and his commitment to “join with many in our community in a public denunciation of Hamas that will appear in this Sunday’s Plain Dealer.” On campus, many push back, saying that he did not properly acknowledge Palestinians.


Nov. 3, 2023

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) announces a walkout with the CWRU LGBT Center as a sponsor. The LGBT Center pulls out that evening to much outcry and speculation as to why they were forced to withdraw their support. While the university claims it was an “inadvertent miscommunication,” organizers see it as an intimidation technique.

Nov. 6, 2023

SJP leads a walkout outside Adelbert Hall to draw attention to Kaler’s response to the Israel-Hamas war. The walkout is peaceful, and it is accompanied with a “call to vote no confidence” in Kaler via a Google form.

Nov. 10, 2023

Shortly after the walkout, Kaler releases another statement that is “endorsed by more than 40 of our Distinguished University Professors.” He notes there is “no tolerance for antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism or hatred of any form at [CWRU].”


Feb. 13, 2024

The Office of Student Conduct, and later Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Peter Whiting, claims that SJP members posted flyers to the Spirit Wall found on Feb. 2. Members of SJP deny their organization’s involvement in this posting policy violation. Further posting policy violations are claimed by the university in the days proceeding, including posters on the windows of Adelbert Hall.

Feb. 26, 2024

In a letter obtained by The Observer via email, the Office of Student Conduct formally imposes an interim loss of recognition for SJP and sets out the conditions for their reinstatement as a student organization, which includes sharing a member roster and a list of individuals responsible for the accused posting violations.

March 3, 2024

SJP announces via their Instagram account that they are interimly suspended, with the post gaining nearly 10,000 likes.

March 5, 2024

USG leads an open executive meeting to discuss student reactions and the process of SJP’s suspension. At the meeting, students press Whiting about their suspension while voicing their distrust in the actions and steps that led to it. Several points brought up are that of a double standard against SJP and the timing of these notices arriving during an exam week.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

In an effort to promote dialogue and the sharing of ideas, The Observer encourages members of the university community to respectfully voice their comments below. Comments that fail to meet the standards of respect and mutual tolerance will be removed as necessary.
All The Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *