In what appears to be becoming a trend, a student coalition at Stanford University in California allegedly asked a Jewish candidate in the student government election whether her Jewish identity would impact her vote on divesting from Israel.
Candidate Molly Horwitz, a junior from Milwaukee, told the New York Times on Tuesday that she had sought endorsement from the Students of Color Coalition. Horwitz was adopted from Paraguay, and is active in Jewish and Latino circles.
But she said she was shocked and horrified by a question asked in the interview with the student coalition.
The eight representatives interviewing her asked about general issues such as student mental health services, before throwing out the question: “given your Jewish identity, how would you vote on divestment?”
“I was really taken aback by the question, and it took me a minute to process it, so I asked for clarification to make sure I knew what they were really asking,” said Horwitz. “They said they saw in my application that I had a strong Jewish identity, and how would that impact my decision?”
She says she answered by saying that while she supports the process of the student senate in voting on the divestment issue, she opposes divestment and considered the February decision to divest to be disappointing.
“There was an awkward silence, and the interview ended a minute later,” said Horwitz, who didn’t get their endorsement ahead of the elections, which start Thursday.
One of the interviewers, the campus’s NAACP chapter president Tianay Pulphus, claimed the charge was “baseless” and that no such question was asked.
Stanford officials are currently investigating the incident after Horwitz filed a complaint. They are also investigating charges that the Students of Color Coalition asked endorsed candidates to sign a contract vowing not to affiliate with the Jewish groups on campus, a charge the group likewise denies.