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Three Ivy League Colleges Among Seven Schools Facing Education Department Probe Over Anti-Semitism, Anti-Muslim Allegations

  Columbia University, Cornell University, and University of Pennsylvania are among seven schools being investigated for alleged incidents o...

 Columbia University, Cornell University, and University of Pennsylvania are among seven schools being investigated for alleged incidents of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim harassment, the Education Department announced on Thursday.

Other schools facing the probe are Lafayette College, Wellesley College, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and a public school district in Kansas, the Maize Unified School District.

The investigation reportedly involves five allegations of anti-Semitic harassment and two complaints of anti-Muslim harassment. The Education Department did not disclose which schools are facing which allegations.

However, the University of Pennsylvania and Wellesley were accused of anti-Semitism in federal complaints filed last week by a Jewish legal advocacy group.

The group cited an email from Wellesley dorm advisors that allegedly stated that “there should be no space, no consideration, and no support for Zionism” at Wellesley.

Wellesley reportedly confirmed that the Education Department’s investigation is in response to the complaint from the advocacy group. The school also said in a statement that Wellesley “responded quickly and decisively” to the dorm email incident.

The Jewish advocacy group also claimed University of Pennsylvania professors have made anti-Semitic comments in the classroom and on social media and that the university has not done enough to support Jewish students while pro-Palestinian rallies are held on campus.

Also this month, the University of Pennsylvania alerted the FBI to a series of threatening anti-Semitic emails sent to university staff.

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill said the school “has made clear antisemitism is vile and pernicious and has no place at Penn,” adding that the university will “continue to vigilantly combat antisemitism and all forms of hate.”

Earlier this month, a Cornell University student was arrested and federally charged for allegedly posting threats to kill Cornell’s Jewish students. Cornell canceled all classes on November 3 amid “extraordinary stress” over the situation.

The schools being scrutinized by the probe risk losing federal funding if they do not comply with recommendations the Department of Education gives them at the end of the investigations.

“Hate has no place in our schools, period. When students are targeted because they are — or are perceived to be — Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Sikh or any other ethnicity or shared ancestry, schools must act to ensure safe and inclusive educational environments where everyone is free to learn,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement on Thursday.

The investigations come in the wake of October 7, when Palestinian terror group Hamas launched deadly terrorist attacks on Israel that killed more than 1,400 people, including women and children. Israel has responded with airstrikes and a ground offensive.

Since Hamas’ attack, college campuses have been rocked by pro-Palestinian protests and allegations of anti-Semitic incidents on campus.

At New York University (NYU) this week, a group of Jewish students filed a lawsuit against the school alleging the school has allowed a climate of anti-Semitism to fester on campus, leaving Jewish students feeling “under siege.” Before that, a law firm rescinded its job offer to an NYU law student who made what the firms said were “inflammatory comments” about Hamas’ attack.

At Harvard University, the student Palestine Solidarity Committee and 30 other student groups signed a statement that said Israel’s “apartheid regime is the only one to blame” for Hamas’ attacks. At least 10 CEOs and other executives backed a call last month not to hire the students who signed onto that letter.

Earlier this month, the Department of Education also launched a federal anti-Semitism probe into Oberlin College over a professor of peace studies who called for the elimination of Israel.

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