Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

San Francisco State University sued over anti-Semitism


(JNS.org) Students from San Francisco State University and members of the local Jewish community filed a lawsuit this week, asserting the university has an extensive history of fomenting discrimination against Jewish students. 

The suit alleges that SFSU and its administrators “knowingly fostered this [anti-Semitic] discrimination and hostile environment, which has been marked by violent threats to the safety of Jewish students on campus.” 

The California school embraced and systematically supported “anti-Jewish hostility,” with its support of student groups that target, threaten and intimidate Jewish students, depriving them of their civil rights, according to the suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The non-profit organization, The Lawfare Project, and the law firm Winston & Strawn LLP are representing the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs present an extensive list of incidents, dating back to 1994, in which Jewish SFSU students were discriminated against, including the hostile disruption of an April 2016 speech by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, which instigated the lawsuit. 

At that event, Jewish students were subjected to “genocidal chants” by a furious mob and physically threatened. The lawsuit also alleges that campus police present at the event did not intervene despite the obvious threats to the safety of Jewish students.

“These defendants seem to believe that they are above the law, that discrimination against Jews is entirely acceptable,” stated Amanda Berman, The Lawfare Project’s Director of Legal Affairs. “It is time for profound institutional change at SFSU... Jewish victims of this pervasively hostile environment have been left with no choice but to ask a federal court to compel it.”


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