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Another Ivy League institution faces legal action for devolving in ‘cauldron of antisemitism’

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Jewish student sues Columbia University for kicking him out of academic program after requesting religious and safety accommodations, as Ivy League university faces legal challenge over anti-Semitism It is the newest university in the world.

Mackenzie Forrest will be attending the Columbia University School of Social Work (CSSW) starting in August 2022 and has since been accepted into the specialized Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) program.

Forrest, an honors student, asked his professors if he could attend class via Zoom meeting in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel, according to the suit. The Lawfare Project says in its lawsuit that the campus “became a cauldron of anti-Semitism” and that Forrest “felt physically unsafe.”

But instead of providing what Forrest called “reasonable accommodations to protect her from threats,” the administration became “increasingly intolerant. In an apparent act of retaliation, the administration refused to allow her to comply with program standards.” “They began fabricating allegations of non-compliance and began making excuses that they could forcefully remove her from the DBT program,” the lawsuit states.

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Students participate in a protest in support of Palestine and for free speech outside Columbia University’s campus on November 15, 2023, in New York City.

Brooke Goldstein, executive director of the nonprofit civil rights organization Lawfare Project, which is representing Ms. Forrest in the lawsuit, said the lawsuit comes amid an alarming rise in anti-Semitism on college campuses. “to ensure the consequences of unlawful discrimination.”

“Jewish hatred has risen to alarming heights, not just on American college campuses, but in K-12 schools,” Goldstein told Fox News Digital. “The problem is systemic. The question is why.”

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Pro-Palestinian student demonstrators in New York

Anti-Israel demonstrators protest in front of Columbia University on February 2, 2024 in New York City. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/VIEWpress)

According to the complaint, Ms. Forrest said that her request for accommodations for Sabbath observance within the DBT program was initially met with “total resistance” and then was reluctantly and unkindly “accommodated” by angry faculty and administrators. He said he first encountered anti-Semitism from faculty and administrators.

“The vitriolic and anti-Semitic environment at Columbia University to which Jewish students like Mackenzie have been subjected is completely indefensible,” said Zipporah Reich, director of litigation at the Lawfare Project. “Mackenzie’s right to receive an education in an environment where she feels physically safe is a fundamental, non-negotiable right protected by law. The University’s refusal to provide such accommodations is not only shameful but also negligent.” The University’s Moral and Legal Responsibilities. Responsibility is required for such negligence. ”

The organization seeks injunctive relief based on federal, state and common law claims arising from the “pervasive hostile environment” in which Forrest was subjected and the Colombian government’s retaliation because of his Jewish status. It is seeking financial damages.

Representatives for the university declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

Columbia is also currently being targeted by House Republicans. Last week, House Education and Labor Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, RN.C., sent a letter to the university requesting documents and information related to the Congressional investigation. Rising anti-Semitism.

The requested documents and information are said to relate to “Columbia University’s response to anti-Semitism on campus and its failure to protect Jewish students, faculty and staff.”

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Brooke Goldstein of Lawfare Project

Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director, Lawfare Project (Credit: The Lawfare Project)

Last year, a Jewish architecture major at Carnegie Mellon University sued the prestigious Pittsburgh university.brutal anti-Semitic abuse campaign” is carried out by its faculty and administration.

And last month, a group of City University of New York (CUNY) professors sued the faculty union. say it promotes anti-Semitismthey are waging a legal battle believing the Supreme Court is their “only hope.”

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File a complaint with the DOE

According to the complaint filed with the DOE, photos from Middlebury College and the complaint show “some of the signs with anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic messages posted in clear violation of Middlebury regulations. “is shown.” (Evidence submitted by Getty/StandWithUs Center for Legal Justice)

Earlier this month, Middlebury College, an elite liberal arts college in Vermont, said the school had “grossly failed to provide adequate protections to Jewish students seeking to redress deep-rooted anti-Semitic bias.” ” in the face of a formal complaint lodged with the Ministry of Education by a Jewish organization. campus. “

“The importance of civil rights litigation on behalf of the Jewish community is to ensure the consequences of unlawful discrimination and set a precedent to redress the problem,” Goldstein told FOX News Digital.

“Every minority community in American history has used the court system to right historical wrongs. Now is the time to use our influence to finally end Jewish hatred in our lifetimes.” “It’s time for a Jewish civil rights movement with some litigation and grassroots mobilization,” she added.

Fox News Digital’s Danielle Wallace and Benjaminn Weinthal contributed to this report.

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