NYU Students File Lawsuit Against University Over Antisemitism
The students cited instances of verbal and physical threats.
A lawsuit was filed by three Jewish students at New York University on Nov. 14, asserting that the institution has inadequately addressed escalating antisemitism, particularly since the onset of the Israel-Hamas conflict on Oct. 7, reported ABC News.
The legal action, invoking Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, alleges that NYU’s failure has fostered a hostile environment in which Jewish students face pervasive acts of discrimination, harassment, and intimidation.
According to the lawsuit, antisemitic behavior at the university has been ongoing, and the students accuse NYU of displaying deliberate indifference at best. The plaintiffs claim that the university has allowed an environment in which Jewish students are subjected to abuse without consequences, contrasting it with how the institution addresses other forms of misconduct.
In response, NYU spokesperson John Beckman disputed the allegations, saying they did not accurately depict the campus conditions. Beckman emphasized that antisemitism violates university rules and that NYU is committed to combating hate, ensuring campus safety, and providing an environment where all students learn peacefully.
“Even though every instance of antisemitic behavior alleged herein is prohibited by one or more of NYU’s policies, the university has done nothing to enforce these policies to remedy or prevent that behavior, and certainly nothing approaching the manner in which NYU has enforced them with respect to misconduct not involving antisemitism,” the lawsuit states. “NYU selectively enforces its own rules, deeming Jewish students unworthy of the protections it readily affords to non-Jewish students victimized by discrimination, harassment, and intimidation.”
The students, juniors Bella Ingber, Sabrina Maslavi, and Saul Tawil, detailed instances of verbal and physical threats that made them feel unsafe on campus. They asserted that the university’s failure to address such issues has impacted their coursework and restricted their movements on campus.
Beckman told ABC News that the allegations “do not accurately describe conditions on our campus or the many steps NYU has been taking to fight antisemitism and keep the campus safe.”
“Antisemitism violates our rules; we take the issues of antisemitism and any other forms of hate extremely seriously, and we are committed to safeguarding our community and providing an environment in which all students can live and learn in peace,” Beckman said.
The lawsuit demands that NYU implements measures to prevent antisemitism, terminates responsible administrators and faculty, and takes action against students engaged in such conduct. Additionally, the students seek damages and attorneys’ fees.
The rise in hate speech and threats against the Jewish community in the U.S. has been noted by law enforcement officials and advocates, coinciding with the Israel-Hamas conflict.