U.S. Students Have Little Success Applying Civil Rights Law to anti-Semitic, anti-Israel Activity

Survey finds that in only one of at least 10 anti-Semitism cases filed; six of the 10 cases involve anti-Israel activity.

A year and a half after the federal government extended a landmark civil rights law to cover Jewish students, Jewish groups have yet to succeed in using this law against what they see as anti-Semitic anti-Israel activity on campus.

A survey by the Forward has found that at least 10 anti-Semitism cases have been filed with either the Department of Education or in court under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In only one of these cases so far has the complainant been favored: a high school case in which Israel played no role.

anti-Israel, university students
Joel Siegel / Forward

Six of these cases involve anti-Israel activity. One has been closed after administrative review. Another case has been rejected by a federal court, but the complainant has been invited to amend the complaint.

For some, this track record raises questions about the utility of civil rights law to combat campus anti-Israel activity. But advocates for Jewish students say its too soon to come to conclusions about what kinds of cases will work under the new law.

Read more at the Forward.