Columbia University accused of anti-Semitic discrimination
January 3, 2020
(JTA)—A federal complaint has been filed against Columbia University accusing the school of anti-Semitic discrimination.
It is the first case filed since President Donald Trump’s executive order on combating anti-Semitism, which grants Jewish students the same protections as other minority groups.
The complaint requests a formal investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights into alleged anti-Semitic discrimination at Columbia. It was filed by the Lawfare Project on behalf of a Jewish Israeli-American undergraduate who says he has been a victim of anti-Semitic discrimination over the past year.
Jonathan Karten told The Jerusalem Post that he decided to go forward with the complaint after he learned that a well-known professor in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia had endorsed Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Terrorist brigade, “with impunity.” Karten’s uncle, Sharon Edri, was kidnapped and murdered by a Hamas cell in Israel in 1996.
According to the Lawfare Project, Jewish students at Columbia “have endured systematic discrimination from tenured professors and anti-Israel groups,” including Students for Justice for Palestine and Columbia University Apartheid Divest. Columbia students and faculty also host Israel Apartheid Week, which has included bringing virulently anti-Semitic speakers to campus.
A university spokesperson said in an email that Columbia had no comment on the complaint.