American University (AU) is currently dealing with a federal complaint regarding a troubling and pervasive atmosphere of anti-Semitism on campus. The complaint details instances in which Jewish students have unfortunately experienced offensive behavior, including spitting, derogatory chants, and hateful graffiti.
The Louis D. Brandeis Center filed the complaint for Human Rights Under Law on behalf of the Jewish population at the school. The complaint claims that the leadership of American University is well aware of the hostile atmosphere for Jewish students. It is alleged that they have not only chosen to disregard this issue but have also subjected Jewish whistleblowers to harassment and disciplinary actions.
This is one of several federal complaints that have been filed against prominent universities in the wake of Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel.
Students of Jewish and Israeli backgrounds at AU are facing unfortunate instances of discrimination, harassment, and intimidation due to their common ancestry and national origin. The complaint suggests that the school may have neglected its duty to ensure the safety of Jewish students on the campus, which could potentially be a violation of federal law.
Currently, American University is investigating five students whom the Brandeis Center represents. The investigation is centered exclusively on students who practice the Jewish faith. There have been incidents of vandalism in dormitory doors and bathrooms, and some Jewish students have shared their experiences of feeling excluded and marginalized in classrooms by their peers and faculty.
Tomer Ben Ezer, a Jewish-Israeli student, unfortunately, faced a series of distressing incidents. He was subjected to the disrespectful act of being spat on by fellow students, and his piano recital poster was defaced with offensive anti-Semitic graffiti. He emphasized that every act of aggression, every hostile encounter, serves as a stark reminder of the genuine danger that anti-Semitism poses.
The University’s lack of action suggests that there will be no consequences for individuals who participate in acts of harassment, threats, or exclusion targeting Jewish and Israeli students. This has perpetuated a culture of exclusion, leading to the continued marginalization of Jewish and Israeli students.