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Jewish students sue Columbia over ‘severe and pervasive’ antisemitism

Jewish students filed a separate lawsuit Wednesday against Columbia University, accusing it of allowing “rampant anti-Semitism” to flourish amid the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel.

The lawsuit, brought by five students and two nonprofit organizations, alleges that Columbia University did not intervene materially as anti-Jewish hatred escalated on campus in the months since the outbreak of the Middle East war. There is.

“Columbia University, one of America’s premier universities, has been one of the worst centers of academic anti-Semitism in the United States for decades,” the documents filed in federal court in Manhattan said. It is written.

“Anti-Semitism in Colombia has been especially severe since October 7, 2023, when Hamas terrorists invaded Israel and massacred, tortured, raped, burned and mutilated 1,200 people, including infants, children and the elderly. , is widespread.”

The Ivy League was accused of being indifferent to anti-Semitic acts on campus and thus violating the civil rights of Jewish students by enabling it. Students have used this argument in recent lawsuits against other top schools, including Harvard University and New York University.

Five Jewish students have accused Columbia University of rampant anti-Semitism on campus. Getty Images

This inequality manifests itself in a “double standard” that avoids protection from harassment for Jewish students, while professors at Columbia University tell the student body that Jews have historically been “oppressors.” teaching, the document states.

For the past several months, school officials have allegedly remained silent as anti-Israel protesters disrupted the lives and safety of Jewish students with “violent, xenophobic anti-Semitic rhetoric.” , students claim the comments have escalated since they returned to class from winter break.

Even when the school intervened, the students argued, it refused to punish the agitators for violating school policy, not for spreading anti-Semitism.

Students claim that anti-Semitism on campus has only increased since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas on October 7th. Reuters

In one example included in the 114-page lawsuit, pro-Palestinian marchers chanted “death to Jews” on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night in 1938 when Nazi soldiers murdered about 100 Jewish Germans. ” details a November rally in which people shouted “Israel, Israel!”

According to the complaint, some of the rally attendees yelled at the rabbi as he tried to pray peacefully with the students.

The next day, the school called the Palestinian Students for Justice group and Jewish Voice for Peace “not for the groups’ anti-Semitic rhetoric, harassment, or calls for violence, but for violations of campus event policies.” The application states that the company has temporarily suspended its activities due to the following reasons:

The lawsuit also mentions anti-Semitic fliers depicting the white and blue Israeli flag with a skunk and a Star of David that were recently posted on Columbia University’s Morningside Heights campus, sparking outrage in the Jewish community. .

More than 100 Columbia University faculty members (including 33 from Barnard College) signed a letter defending Hamas’ October 7 massacre as a “military action.”

School administrators’ alleged silence in the face of rampant hatred created a vacuum that has since been filled with anti-Semitism.

“Columbia is now forced to take concrete, systemic, and far-reaching remedial action. Columbia University also provides compensation to plaintiffs who were deprived of their undergraduate and graduate school experiences as a result of Columbia University’s misconduct.” must pay compensation for the hostilities they have been forced to endure,” the document states.

The students claimed that Colombian authorities did not intervene when pro-Palestinian protesters disrupted a peaceful Jewish event. Getty Images

Representatives for Columbia University declined to comment on the pending litigation.

The lawsuit is the second filed against the prestigious university this month, after a Jewish graduate student last week claimed there had been an “explosion” of anti-Semitism on campus since Oct. 7.

Both lawsuits were filed after the House Education and Labor Committee expanded its investigation into anti-Semitism in higher education to include Columbia University and Barnard College, as well as Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The lawsuit is the second filed by Jewish students against Columbia University this month. Getty Images

Last November, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights launched anti-Semitism or Islamophobia investigations into three New York schools: Columbia, Cornell, and Cooper Union.

Earlier this week, a pro-Jewish alumni group launched a social media ad campaign to pressure Columbia University to aggressively combat anti-Semitism at its Manhattan campus.

Campus Fairness alumni said the six-figure advocacy and awareness effort also aims to encourage Columbia University’s Barnard College to do more to curb anti-Jewish hatred.

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