A New York-based non-profit has filed a formal complaint with the Department of Education against Columbia University for anti-Semitic discrimination.
The Lawfare Project that protects the rights of Jewish and pro-Israel students on college campuses filed the complaint with the Office for Civil Rights on behalf of a Jewish student who alleged rampant incidents of antisemitism on campus.
Jonathan Karten, who is a Jewish Israeli-American undergraduate student, alleged that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is used by faculty and student groups to legitimize discrimination against Jewish and Israeli students because of the latter group’s race, religion and national identity.”
The complaint alleged tenured professors and groups like Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP) and Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) of perpetuating systematic discrimination on the Jewish students. It also accused them of organizing events that promote boycott of Jewish individuals and Israeli businesses.
“The culture of discrimination against Jewish students at Columbia University is untenable, as it is at so many colleges and universities in the United States,” said Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project.
“The administration has blatantly and consistently ignored the anti-Semitic discrimination occurring on its campus,” Lori Tucker, Legal Coordinator for The Lawfare Project’s Campus Civil Rights Project said.
“In all my years of experience as an education attorney, I have not come across an environment this hostile for such a prolonged period of time without effective administrative intervention. It is our hope that this complaint will allow OCR to act where the administration has failed to do so.”
The latest complaint comes days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order that sees discrimination against Jews as a violation of law in certain cases and made Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applicable to anti-Semitic discrimination based on race, color, or national origin.
Earlier this year, the Education Department had launched an investigation against Duke University and the University of North Carolina over the use of $235,000 in federal grant money to organize anti-Israel events that the department alleges included speakers linked to Palestinian terror groups.
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