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‘GO BACK TO THE GAS CHAMBERS’: Three California colleges face federal complaints over out-of-control anti-Semitism


Patrick McDonald, Article

Three California colleges are facing condemnation over anti-Semitism.

The Brandeis Center and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have filed federal complaints against Occidental College in Los Angeles and Pomona College in Claremont for allegedly allowing anti-Semitism to run wild on their campuses, thus violating Title VI, the ADL announced on May 9.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.”

In a separate email sent Thursday, the Brandeis Center also announced it was filing a similar complaint against the University of California, Santa Barbara.

[RELATED: Dept. of Ed investigates Princeton University over campus anti-Semitism response: EXCLUSIVE]

Kenneth L. Marcus, the founder and head of the Brandeis Center, explained the reasoning behind the complaints against Occidental and Pomona.

“Jewish students on these campuses are hiding in their dorms and avoiding their own campus rather than risk verbal and physical attacks. Pomona and Occidental know full well this is happening.  But instead of enforcing the law and their own policies, they are caving to the anti-Semitic mob and letting them bully, harass, and intimidate Jewish students. Anti-Semitism left unaddressed will not go away.  It will only snowball and escalate until the problem is faced head on as the law requires,” he said.

The complaint against Occidental alleges that the College administration has failed to address anti-Semitism on its campus, including physical attacks against Jewish students.

“Occidental is one of the many campuses where anti-Semitism has been allowed to run rampant because the administration has refused to adequately respond to the problem, despite having been repeatedly put on notice,” the complaint states.

The complaint cites instances of anti-Semitism on campus, which have reportedly increased in number since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre: “Protestors regularly accost Jewish and Israeli students on campus, shoving anti-Semitic flyers in their faces, impeding their ability to move forward, and/or following them if they decline the flyers.”

The document continues: “Jewish students are told by fellow students to ‘go back to the gas chambers,’ and are called derogatory names like ‘kike’ and ‘****ing Jew.’”

The complaint against Pomona College presents similar accusations.

“Jewish students have suffered from physical violence and threats of physical violence on Pomona’s campus. Jewish students have been shouted at and have had to pretend to ignore the verbal blows that buffeted them. Some Jewish students have transferred to other schools; others have tried to study abroad or study remotely since October 7. Others have had to refrain from participating in certain educational and/or extracurricular activities, including attending certain dining halls or cafés, areas on campus, or events,” it states.

“The harassment, marginalization, alienation, and exclusion of Jewish and Israeli students at Pomona have become so bad, they are inescapable,” it continues.

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt condemned both colleges: “There’s simply no excuse for the persistent and pervasive antisemitic harassment being faced by Jewish students at Occidental and Pomona colleges. No student should be forced to transfer due to continual harassment. We urge the U.S. Department of Education to investigate these schools for potential civil rights violations and to take effective measures to protect Jewish students on these campuses.”

[RELATED: At least 19 colleges under federal investigation for discrimination against Jewish students]

Brandeis’s complaint against UCSB revolves around the case of Tessa Veksler, a Jewish student leader at the school who became the victim of targeted harassment when anti-Israel students hung up signs on campus that threatened her and vilified her as a “racist Zionist.”

“Left unchecked by the University for seven months, the harassment has left Ms. Veksler fearful for her physical safety on campus, negatively impacted her mental health, adversely affected her academic performance, and undermined her ability to effectively lead the student government,” the complaint states. “Despite its knowledge of the harassment, UCSB has failed to promptly address the harassment and eliminate the impact of the hostile climate on campus for Ms. Veksler.”

A UCSB spokesperson told Campus Reform: “The university is committed to supporting our students and to investigating and addressing all reports made to it. We look forward to working with the Department of Education.”

Campus Reform has contacted Occidental College and Pomona College for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Republished with permission from Campus Reform

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