Saturday, October 16, 2021
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Jewish Students Say University of Illinois ‘Complicit’ in Anti-Semitism

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A group of Jewish students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has accused the college officials of failing to stop the spread of anti-Semitic incidents on campus over the past five years. They also blame the officials for being “complicit” in fostering a “hostile environment” for them.

The students on Friday filed a complaint against the school at the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

The complaint was filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits federally funded institutions from discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

The complaint says that the situation deteriorated to such an extent that in December last year, the UIUC student body president had to circulate a university-wide email condemning the “epidemic of anti-Semitism on this campus.”

Being Attacked Right and Left

In the complaint, the students list out around two dozen incidents of anti-Semitism on the campus, where, they claim, the “Jewish and pro-Israel students are peppered with swastikas by white supremacists on the extreme right while being labeled white supremacists by the extreme left.”

In at least 6 of the 23 complaints, the students accused the pro-Palestinian college student activism organization Students of Justice in Palestine of harassing the Jewish students with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric.

The students say that the “poisonous atmosphere” has hindered their academic activities.

They further added that although university authorities have taken some efforts to address the issue, after being requested numerous times, the efforts have largely been “inadequate.” In fact, they allege that in some cases “UIUC staff members were complicit in fostering this hostility and discrimination.”

The complainants say the college has failed to combat anti-Semitism as vigorously as it has combated other forms of bigotry on its campus prohibited by Title VI.

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