Columbia University Accused Of Anti-semitic Discrimination In First Case Since Trump Executive Order

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A view of Columbia University's Low Memorial Library in New York, Sept. 25, 2019 (Josefin Dolsten)

NEW YORK (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.

The university did not respond to media outlets seeking comment.

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25 COMMENTS

    • Some of us “leftie Jews” endorse Trump’s decision to afford Jews protections as an ethnic group, not only as a religion…and some of us “leftie Jews” think there ought to be more such law suits…against Rutgers in NJ, as one glaring example.

      Now, when will you “white supremacist right wing Jews” acknowledge Trump’s culpability in enabling white supremacists, from his refusal to rebuke David Duke, to his refusal to disavow endorsements from the Klan and other right wing extremists, to his saying that “some very fine people” were among the marchers in Charlottsville who chanted “Jews will not replace us” and the Nazi slogan “Blood and Soil” – and when will you “white supremacist right wing Jews” acknowledge the sharp uptick in anti-Semitic hate crimes since Trump took office…according to the DOJ we are but 2% of the population, but we were the victims in 57% of the reported hate crimes in 2018…almost all of which were committed by white supremacists.

      • Well, we won’t acknowledge your lies to be the truth; just because you take 1984 as an instruction manual doesn’t mean that we have to.

        Trump has in fact rebuked Duke. His reference to “very fine people” was about those who didn’t think that statues of Confederate leaders have to be torn down. And the sharp uptick you mention is not “almost all” due to “white supremacists,” but to blacks and other Democratic constituencies.

        • CNN’s Jake Tapper: “I want to ask you about the Anti-Defamation League, which this week called on you to publicly condemn unequivocally the racism of former KKK grand wizard David Duke, who recently said that voting against you at this point would be ‘treason to your heritage.’ Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don’t want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?”

          Trump: “Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. Okay? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know. I don’t know, did he endorse me or what’s going on, because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.”

        • “… Though aspects of the alt right date back to 2008, it was Donald Trump’s entry in 2015 into the 2016 presidential race that really energized the alt right and caused it to become highly active in support of Trump. This activism drew media attention that provided publicity for the alt right and allowed it to grow further. The alt right interpreted Trump’s success at the polls in November 2016 as a success for their own movement as well…

          “…After the election, the alt right moved from online activism into the real world, forming real-world groups and organizations and engaging in tactics such as targeting college campuses. The alt right also expanded its online propaganda efforts, especially through podcasting.

          “…Other white supremacists—neo-Nazis, traditional white supremacists, racist skinheads, white supremacist religious sects, and white supremacist prison gangs—have also continued their activities. Some white supremacists, such as neo-Nazis, seem to have been buoyed by the alt right to some extent, while others— most notably racist skinheads—may experience a loss of potential recruits at the hands of the alt right.

          “…White supremacists have killed more people in recent years than any other type of domestic extremist…”
          See:
          https://www.adl.org/new-hate-and-old

      • Where I live, in Brooklyn, Jews are not being targeted by white supremacists at all. It is entirely blacks. It doesn’t for nicely with the stats, like the one you just posted, but it’s a fact.

        “…White supremacists have killed more people in recent years than any other type of domestic extremist…”
        Well of course this is true, because in this line of thinking all the black thugs beating people up are not going to be considered domestic extremists. But they are. Black people hate Jews. Their churches are full of anti-Semitism.
        They tell their members that Jews are the cause of all their problems, that it was the Jews who came down to the South and showed the WASPs how to oppress the blacks, that Jews are ripping them off all the time, getting rich while they stay poor.
        All of this is highly anti-Semitic.
        It’s also all false. Black people stay poor because they’re stupid and keep taking the free handouts.

  1. Could for him fighting the vicious anti semitism by the leftist anti Israel Jew haters fully supported by the democrats. This is why the democrats condemned the executive order.

  2. Thank you President Donald John Trump for putting into motion that which will beat back those institutions that discriminate against their Jewish students.

  3. Not to beat a dead horse, but….we’ve always had white supremacists, the KKK, idiots in Idaho that hate basically everyone who isn’t their cousin. No one paid any attention to them because, guess what? They’re idiots. Except now you’ve got victim hood raised to an art form. You’ve got media that needs hysteria and headlines to gain eyeballs and they have us convinced (or some of us who have drunk their kool-aid) that there’s a KKK chapter on every street corner.

    The truth is – this is the most diverse country in the history of the world. Ever. Period. It provides more economic (and other) opportunity through more of the social spectrum than any other country in history. Ever. If you can manage to tear your eyeballs away from your screen for a moment and take a look around you, you’ll see that the vast majority of us get along pretty well. No one really cares what you look like, where you came from, what your background is. They care about who you are. And you get to prove that every day by your actions and what you say.

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