Harvard University has been sued by Jewish students who accused it of allowing its campus to become a bastion of rampant antisemitism, Reuters reported on Thursday.
In the complaint, filed on Wednesday night, six students accused Harvard of selectively enforcing its anti-discrimination policies to avoid protecting Jewish students from harassment, ignoring their pleas for protection, and hiring professors who support anti-Jewish violence and spread antisemitic propaganda.
"Based on its track record, it is inconceivable that Harvard would allow any group other than Jews to be targeted for similar abuse or that it would permit, without response, students and professors to call for the annihilation of any country other than Israel," the complaint said, according to Reuters.
Harvard, the complaint said, treats Jews as "unworthy of the respect and protection it affords other groups."
The students are seeking an injunction to stop Harvard's alleged violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars federal funds recipients from allowing discrimination based on race, religion and national origin.
The plaintiffs include Alexander Kestenbaum, who is a student at Harvard Divinity School; five unnamed students at Harvard's law and public health schools, and the nonprofit Students Against Antisemitism.
Harvard University has come under fire over its handling of antisemitism on campus, which has been on the rise since the start of Israel’s war against Hamas.
Shortly after the war began, a coalition of 34 Harvard student organizations released a statement in which they blamed Israel for Hamas’ October 7 attack on southern Israel.
Later, then-Harvard President Claudine Gay came under fire after she, along with MIT President Sally Kornbluth and University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill, testified before a congressional hearing on the issue of antisemitism on college campuses.
All three university presidents gave similar answers to Rep. Elise Stefanik in which they failed to unequivocally condemn antisemitism or even calls for genocide against Jews.
In response to a question about whether such calls for genocide violate Harvard's code of conduct, Gay responded that this depended on the "context" and whether or not the genocidal language turned into action.
Gay last week resigned as President of Harvard amid the backlash over her congressional testimony on antisemitism. She later claimed she was the target of a sustained campaign of lies and personal insults.
Meanwhile, the House Education and the Workforce Committee, which is probing the antisemitism at Harvard, on Tuesday asked the university for a list of documents related the probe and gave it two weeks to produce the records.
The documents requested include any list of "posts by Harvard students, faculty, staff, and other Harvard affiliates on Sidechat and other social media platforms targeting Jews, Israelis, Israel, Zionists, or Zionism."