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Anti-Semitic harassment suit at UC Berkeley is dismissed

JTA

December 26, 2011 | 11:47 am

Campus of the UC Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif. Photo by Charlie Nguyen

Campus of the UC Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif. Photo by Charlie Nguyen

A federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by two Jewish students against the University of California, Berkeley, alleging that the school did not protect them from anti-Semitic attacks.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg ruled late last week that there was no evidence that university officials violated the Jewish students’ rights, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The plaintiffs said that they and other Jews were harassed during the annual Apartheid Week event at the university held by Muslim student groups to protest Israeli policies. Seeborg ruled that the conduct of the Muslim students fell under the category of “pure political speech,” which is constitutionally protected, according to the newspaper.

The complaint alleged that the Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Student Association, another pro-Palestinian group on campus, harass and attack Jewish students, and that the university knows about it and has not taken sufficient steps to protect its Jewish students.

The complaint further charged that university officials have tolerated “the growing cancer of a dangerous anti-Semitic climate on its campuses” that violates the rights of Jewish and other students “to enjoy a peaceful campus environment free from threats and intimidation.”

The suit called for damages and a jury trial.

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