NYU settles federal antisemitism lawsuit brought by Jewish students

School was accused of unevenly enforcing anti-discrimination policies by allowing chants such as ‘Gas the Jews’ and ‘Hitler was right’; terms of deal not immediately released

New York University students and anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian supporters rally outside the NYU Stern School of Business building, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
New York University students and anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian supporters rally outside the NYU Stern School of Business building, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK (Reuters) — New York University settled a lawsuit by Jewish students who accused the school of failing to stop antisemitism on campus.

Terms of the settlement reached on Monday were not immediately available. A lawyer for the students and an NYU spokesman said the parties will issue a joint statement on Tuesday.

The accord resolves one of the earliest of the many lawsuits accusing major universities, including New York’s Columbia University, of allowing and encouraging antisemitism following the outbreak of war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.

It was announced the same day Brown University agreed to bolster nondiscrimination training for employees and students, to resolve a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education over its handling of discrimination and harassment claims, including those related to antisemitism.

The NYU lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court last November by Bella Ingber, Sabrina Maslavi and Saul Tawil, all juniors at the time.

They accused the school of violating federal civil rights law by enforcing its anti-discrimination policies unevenly, including by allowing chants such as “Gas the Jews” and “Hitler was right” while ignoring other bigotry.

A pro-Palestinian protester holds a stethoscope as they face NYPD officers during a protest against Israel on the campus of New York University (NYU) in New York on April 22, 2024. (Alex Kent / AFP)

The plaintiffs also claimed that NYU administrators including President Linda Mills “ignored, slow-walked, or met with gaslighting” Jewish students’ complaints.

NYU sought to dismiss the case, arguing that reports of antisemitism had declined significantly following an initial surge immediately after the war began.

It also said it had taken far more steps than the law required to address student concerns, including by adopting a “10 Point Plan” to boost on-campus security and disciplining people who violate its anti-discrimination policies.

Other schools that have faced similar lawsuits include Carnegie-Mellon, Harvard, MIT, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania.

A scheduled Tuesday court hearing on NYU’s motion to dismiss the case was canceled.

The case is Ingber et al v New York University, US District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 23-10023.

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