Pro-Palestinian protesters on the University of Vermont campus in Burlington
Pro-Palestinian protesters on the University of Vermont campus in BurlingtonAndrew Lapin/Jewish Telegraphic Agency

To the D.O.J. Deputy AG assigned to prosecute Civil Rights Violations Division:

The so-called pro-Palestinian protests have seemingly disrupted many of our institutions of higher education on many levels; placing many Jewish students at risk of rampant Anti-Semitism and suspected consequential Civil Rights Violations. I appreciate that the DOJ and the FBI have been monitoring this situation closely. That said:

I am respectfully writing today to ask that you consider using the ‘RICO’ criminal statute, to assist in remedying this egregious unending issue. These “protests” appear to share potentially suspect underlying criminal conspiracy; extortion and intimidation aspects intended to influence governmental changes of policy towards our long established American Jewish minority communities, independently of attitudes towards the State of Israel.

The acts of some of the protests appear to extort the universities to take certain actions to further the protestors' causes in order for the universities to not experience the disruption, violence, and reputation issues which in itself may put the “RICO” statute in play. The planning and execution of these protests is anything but random; but the targeting of Jewish students on campuses was and appears currently opportunistic.

Today's ineffectively opposed targeted intimidations and tactics as demonstrated within extremist campus protest movements across American campuses have elevated the level of despair and fear impacting Jewish students, educators and their speakers brought on campus; each seeking to peacefully exercise their constitutionally guaranteed freedoms to gather, speak and teach within higher level educational institutions’ many of which accept funding from federal and state coffers to do so.

The levels of ‘inter’ and ‘intra-state student and outside agitator perpetrators participation which influence subsequent violence is yet to be investigated by federal and state authorities so as to determine if the destabilization has exceeded disorderly conduct and other recognized violations and has risen to “Domestic Terrorism” even without the use of explosives; although 'firecrackers' and similarly dangerous medium have been employed, situationally.

Local and campus law enforcement appear to lack the coordinated wherewithal and/or motivation/administrative directives to deal with this rapidly deteriorating social situation, especially when perpetrators don keffiyehs and/or covid masks, which hamper facial recognition, as violence, death threats, property defacement and destruction geared towards Jewish students, their supporters, their residences, and places of religious sanctity occur on or near campus property.

Misguided perpetrators appear to operate under an implied illusion that they are protected within ‘Freedom of Speech;’ and the lack of appropriate protection responses from school administrators. The latter appear to dismiss their moral and legal responsibilities necessary to afford their institutionally registered Jewish students and their property protection from harm.

Calls for support for Hamas, Iran and other recognized terror designated agents of Jihad to repeat the perpetrated deadly terror tactics utilized within Israel on 10/07/2023 repeatedly singling out today's American Jews and their supporters on American soil brings shame upon our great nation. These targeted psychological and physical assaults are as shameful as the K.K.K. attacks upon our Black brothers and sisters of yesteryear.

Perhaps, the good offices of the D.O.J., FBI and State's Attorney's as appropriate might coordinate their efforts to delve into the financing, foreign influence and training of the non-student protest perpetrators who shift appearances between intra and inter-state campuses.

The silent majority of citizens within American society look to local, state and federally elected representatives, as well as traditional policing powers and eventually our court system; to restore order before the current civil rights violations stains become indelible.

I believe the involvement of the U.S. Department of Justice and States’ Attorney are warranted.


Bruce Portnoy, OD

Bruce Portnoy has been published at Israel National News/Arutz Sheva; Jerusalem Post/Report; Miami Herald; Washington Examiner and other media; author, "First, the 'Saturday People', and then the..."