Three Jewish students have filed a lawsuit against New York University (NYU), alleging that the school has created a hostile environment for Jewish students — allowing them to face pervasive antisemitic hatred, discrimination, harassment and intimidation.
The United States has seen a rise in antisemitic protests in the aftermath of the October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel, where Hamas massacred more than 1,400 Israelis, injured more than 5,300 and kidnapped 240 people. Antisemitic rhetoric and demonstrations have become especially prevalent on college campuses, including NYU.
The remnants of torn down posters for kidnapped Israeli civilians around NYU campus in NYC pic.twitter.com/0jddAbqyQK
— Timcast News (@TimcastNews) October 27, 2023
During a pro-Palestine walkout at NYU, students were heard chanting in support of an “intifada” and declaring their desire to eliminate the entire state of Israel. One student was even seen holding a sign advocating for the “genocide of all Jews worldwide,” according to several reports.
Chaos Today in NYC as @nyuniversity students staged a pro-Hamas walkout.
They chanted to “topple it [the system] down” and “intifada.” They also said they don’t want a 2 state because they want all of it. One student was spotted holding a sign advocating for the genocide of all… pic.twitter.com/qsCeCQrd2p
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) October 25, 2023
These incidents, and many more, have led to the lawsuit filed against the school in Manhattan federal court by Jewish students Bella Ingber, Sabrina Maslavi and Saul Tawil.
In their complaint, the students accused NYU of refusing to enforce its own policy against bigotry, including by allowing chants such as “gas the Jews” and “Hitler was right.”
The students also alleged that antisemitism had been a “growing institutional problem” at the school even before Hamas attacked Israel.
Jewish students’ complaints have been “ignored, slow-walked, or met with gaslighting” by NYU administrators, including the school’s new President Linda Mills, according to the complaint. The students also accused Mills of falsely dismissing antisemitism on campus as overstated.
The complaint goes on to argue that, by allowing “the same anti-Jewish vitriol the Nazis propagated eighty years ago,” NYU has violated Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and failed at its duty to provide the education that the students had expected when they enrolled.
In their lawsuit, the Jewish students are seeking to require the university to terminate any employees, including administrators and professors, who engage in antisemitism, and suspend or expel students who engage in the behavior as well. They are also demanding that NYU pay compensatory and punitive damages.
“NYU’s deliberate indifference toward the plight of its Jewish students under siege by egregious antisemitism has been outrageous,” Marc Kasowitz, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, wrote in a statement.
NYU has not publicly responded to the lawsuit as of Tuesday evening.