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Pro-Palestinian protesters attack a Jewish student who was holding an Israeli flag. PhHoto: video

Jewish students’ suit against Berkeley proceeds

“Unchecked” antisemitism is the subject of a lawsuit against Berkeley University. Jewish students at the ultra-progressive California school continue to be harassed even as similar treatment resulted in the departure of Harvard’s president.

The Brandeis Center and the Jewish Americans for Fairness in Education allege that Berkeley allows antisemitism to go unchecked on campus. Plaintiffs argue that court intervention is necessary to protect students and faculty, citing instances of harassment and physical violence in the wake of the October 7 attack against Israel.

“While the civilized world responded with horror and grief, students at UC Berkeley celebrated this twenty-first-century pogrom with resulting violence against Jewish students,” the complaint stated.

The Brandeis Center described an incident in October cited in the lawsuit where pro-Palestinian protestors reportedly attacked a Jewish undergraduate student draped in an Israeli flag. Another incident involved two pro-Palestinian protestors disrupting Jewish students who gathered to pray after Hamas’ attack. Students also have participated in various rallies demanding the dismantling of Israel and chanting phrases such as “intifada, intifada,” according to the Brandeis Center.

“The students also described pro-Palestinian rallies blocking the main entrance to campus and a lecturer who told students that class was over early before proceeding to embark on an anti-Israel rant for 18 minutes, with roughly 1,000 freshmen as his captive audience,” the lawsuit said.

Even before the Hamas attack, the lawsuit said, Jewish students had to deal with discrimination on campus. Brandeis Center Chairman Kenneth L. Marcus, former U.S. assistant secretary of education during the Bush and Trump administrations, said the antisemitism on campus is a direct result of Berkeley’s leadership “turning a blind eye to unfettered Jew-hatred.”

“Berkeley, once a beacon of free speech, civil rights and equal treatment of persons regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender and sexual orientation, is heading down a very different and dangerous path from the one I proudly attended as a Jewish law student,” Marcus said.

This lawsuit comes amid various accusations of antisemitic incidents taking place on college campuses following the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas. In addition to student groups writing statements holding Israel solely responsible for the violence, others have harassed openly Jewish students on campus.

–Alan Goforth | Mv


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