The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Education Department has opened an investigation into allegations of antisemitism at Harvard University, where the campus, like many others, has been roiled by demonstrations and confrontations between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian students in the weeks since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.
The complaint against Harvard, filed on Tuesday, joins a growing list of federal civil rights investigations into complaints of discrimination based on “shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics,” including at Columbia, Cornell, Wellesley College, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Tampa and the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
The list includes a handful of school districts as well, including New York City public schools, Clark County School District in Las Vegas and Hillsborough County Schools in Tampa.
The Office for Civil Rights announced on Nov. 16 that it was investigating such complaints as part of its efforts to “take aggressive action to address the alarming nationwide rise in reports of antisemitism, anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, and other forms of discrimination and harassment on college campuses and in K-12 schools since the October 7 Israel-Hamas conflict.”
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