Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Law Students Sue Harvard, A 'Bastion Of Antisemitism'

Following up on yesterday's post, Law School Founded On DEI Pillar Is Now 'Riven With Betrayal And Fear' Over October 7th And Israel-Hamas War:  American Lawyer, Kasowitz Sues Harvard, Alleging University Failed to Protect Jewish Law Students From Antisemitism:

Harvard 1Kasowitz Benson Torres filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Harvard College on behalf of six Jewish students who allege the university failed to protect them from antisemitism on campus, a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The plaintiffs, five unnamed law students and Alexander Kestenbaum, a theological studies graduate student, claimed Harvard enabled antisemitism on campus in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel by failing to enforce policies against discrimination, bullying, free speech guidelines and others.

New York Times, Students Sue Harvard, Calling It a ‘Bastion’ of Antisemitism:

Six students sued Harvard on Wednesday, claiming that the renowned university had become a “bastion of rampant anti-Jewish hatred and harassment” that was exacerbated by the Hamas attack on Israel last October.

The complaint, filed in federal court in Massachusetts, says that Harvard professors have promulgated antisemitism in their courses and intimidated students who object.

“What is most striking about all of this is Harvard’s abject failure and refusal to lift a finger to stop and deter this outrageous antisemitic conduct and penalize the students and faculty who perpetrate it,” the lawsuit says. ...

The complaint goes so far as to accuse Harvard of deliberately reducing the enrollment of Jewish students, claiming there was a sharp drop over a decade “that could only evince a deliberate effort by Harvard to minimize its Jewish student population.”

Wall Street Journal, Jewish Students Say Harvard Has Enabled Antisemitism on Campus:

The students in the lawsuit said Harvard disciplines students and faculty members showing bias against other minority groups but fails to punish anti-Jewish behavior.

They said students have been attacked on social media and ostracized by their non-Jewish peers. Jewish students don’t feel comfortable expressing their support for Israel at school, according to the lawsuit.

Several of the students in the lawsuit said Harvard administrators didn’t act on their complaints about the antisemitic environment. Two students who are “visibly Jewish based on their religious clothing” were often stopped and targeted in a campus lounge, the lawsuit said.

“These students have had to spend their time at Harvard fearing for their physical safety, enduring anti-Jewish abuse and harassment, and communicating with Harvard administrators over antisemitism that Harvard is doing nothing to stop,” the lawsuit said.

David Bernstein (George Mason), Antisemitism Lawsuit Filed against Harvard University, Includes Allegations re Harvard Law School:

As in previous complaints related to university antisemitism, I find that the strongest claims are that (a) the university refuses to enforce its own, content-neutral, rules (In this context, for example, I can't see any legitimate reason for HLS to allow pro-Hamas students to take over Casperson lounge); and (b) the  university reacts quite differently to complaints of antisemitism than it does to complaints of other sorts of bias, resulting in disparate treatment of Jewish students.

David quotes in full the twenty allegations against Harvard Law School in the 77-page complaint.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink