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NYU Settles Anti-Semitism Lawsuit with Jewish Students

New York University in Greenwich Village, New York, United States of America, July 7, 2024. Photo: Beata Zawrzel via Reuters Connect

New York University has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum of money to settle a lawsuit filed by three students who sued the school for allegedly responding to anti-Semitic discrimination “with deliberate indifference,” a school spokesman confirmed in a statement Monday.

In resolving the case, NYU is avoiding a lengthy trial that could reveal exactly who received what and which office, but it has not addressed numerous reports that — according to court documents filed in November — NYU students and faculty “repeatedly insult, denigrate, defame, and threaten Jewish students with impunity” and that “death to the f—ers” and “gas the Jews” were chanted by Hamas supporters at the school.

The lawsuit was one of several filed against colleges and universities following the outbreak of anti-Semitic behavior that followed the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre in southern Israel, accusing it of ignoring “pleas for help and protection” and that NYU administrators “gaslighted” Jewish students instead of punishing those responsible for the discriminatory acts to which they were subjected.

“The parties have agreed to a confidential settlement, including financial terms,” said NYU spokesman John Beckman. “None of the confidential terms detract from NYU’s commitments to combat anti-Semitism under the agreement. As a result of the agreement, NYU is creating a new Title VI coordinator position—one of the first major universities in the country to do so.”

In the same press release, the plaintiff’s attorney issued a statement positively describing the terms of the settlement.

“NYU deserves credit for taking a leadership position among American universities in combating anti-Semitism on campus by entering into this historic settlement,” said Marc Kasowitz of Kasowitz, Benson, and Torres LLP. “Other universities should immediately follow suit.”

Columbia University, another elite school based in the New York area, also settled a lawsuit in which a student accused it of failing to provide a safe learning environment in the wake of violent pro-Hamas protests at the school in the final weeks of the academic year.

The settlement, first reported by Reuters, calls for Columbia to hire a “Safe Crossings Liaison” to monitor protests and “walking escorts” to accompany students whose safety is threatened on campus. Other details of the settlement include “accommodations” for students whose academic lives are disrupted by protests and new security rules to control access to school property.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.