White House Announces Investigation Into College Antisemitism

The Biden administration announced this week that it would launch an investigation into alleged antisemitism on a number of prominent college campuses. The news comes as a number of anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian statements among college officials sparked outrage and at least one major lawsuit.

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights would investigate six universities and one school district over discrimination. However, the announcement also stated that the administration would also target anti-Muslim sentiment.

Three Ivy League colleges were included in the list: the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and Cornell. In addition, Lafayette College, Wellesley College, and Cooper Union will also be under the microscope.

The Maize Unified School District, a Kansas institution, will also be investigated.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona wrote, “Hate has no place in our schools, period.”

He wrote that students have been discriminated against due to their ethnic and religious background or the perception of a different background. He wrote that “schools must act to ensure safe and inclusive educational environments where everyone is free to learn.”

The secretary said that the current investigations “underscore how seriously the Biden-Harris Administration, including the U.S. Department of Education, takes our responsibility to protect students from hatred and discrimination.”

A number of students, professors and organizations have made statements against Israel since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks. A statement condemning the Jewish state was signed by a number of organizations on Harvard University’s campus.

In addition, New York University (NYU) is currently being sued over perceived antisemitism.

According to the suit filed by the Kasowitz Benson Torres law firm, the college “is among the worst campuses for Jewish students, and NYU has long been aware of the festering Jewish hatred permeating the school.”

The suit alleges that the college knew about “ongoing and disgraceful acts of anti-Jewish bigotry.”

The suit hopes to have the college change its policy and impose financial penalties.

The suit alleges that the university has not “addressed and ameliorated” antisemitism on campus, but instead had “done the opposite—it has deliberately sought to burnish its antisemitic credentials and make the campus environment even more hostile and frightening for Jewish students.”