Since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, there has been an alarming level of anti-Semitism on college campuses across the United States, a lot of which has come from some of the top schools in the country.
We’ve all seen the reports of raging antisemitism at universities across the country.
— Accuracy In Media (@AccuracyInMedia) November 2, 2023
In some of the cases, the schools didn’t do much to stop the anti-Semitism, which has led to Jewish students speaking out.
University students demand action over growing antisemitism on campus: 'Not debatable'
Columbia student Noa Fay joined 'America's Newsroom' to discuss growing anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses nationwide and why it is strange to feel unsafe in the classroom.… pic.twitter.com/uUOzyvPhUi
— America's Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) October 31, 2023
Now, some of the nation’s most powerful law firms are warning America’s elite universities to crack down on antisemitism on campus, or the schools and their students will face real consequences.
“Over the last several weeks, we have been alarmed at reports of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and assaults on college campuses, including rallies calling for the death of Jews and the elimination of the State of Israel,” more than two dozen law firms wrote in a letter obtained by CNN. “Such anti-Semitic activities would not be tolerated at any of our firms.”
According to CNN, the letter was sent on Monday to law school deans at Yale, Harvard, Columbia, the University of Virginia, Georgetown, the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, the University of Michigan, New York University and Stanford.
Since the initial publication of the letter, additional law firms have signed on.
In the letter from the law firms on Wednesday, they requested a dialogue to understand how the law schools are “addressing with urgency this serious situation at your law schools.”
The letter reads:
Everyone at our law firms is entitled to be treated with respect and be free of any conduct that targets their identity and is offensive, hostile, intimidating or inconsistent with their personal dignity and rights. We prohibit any form of harassment, whether verbal, visual or physical.
Over the last several weeks, we have been alarmed at reports of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and assaults on college campuses, including rallies calling for the death of Jews and the elimination of the State of Israel. Such anti-Semitic activities would not be tolerated at any of our firms. We also would not tolerate outside groups engaging in acts of harassment and threats of violence, as has also been occurring on many of your campuses.
As educators at institutions of higher learning, it is imperative that you provide your students with the tools and guidance to engage in the free exchange of ideas, even on emotionally charged issues, in a manner that affirms the values we all hold dear and rejects unreservedly that which is antithetical to those values. There is no room for anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism or any other form of violence, hatred or bigotry on your campuses, in our workplaces or our communities.
As employers who recruit from each of your law schools, we look to you to ensure your students who hope to join our firms after graduation are prepared to be an active part of workplace communities that have zero tolerance policies for any form of discrimination or harassment, much less the kind that has been taking place on some law school campuses.
We trust you will take the same unequivocal stance against such activities as we do, and we look forward to a respectful dialogue with you to understand how you are addressing with urgency this serious situation at your law schools.
Law firms have already started taking action against anti-Semitism at elite colleges.
Last month, an NYU law student made some anti-Semitic comments that cost her a job at a prestigious firm.
From CBS News:
A New York University law student has had a job offer rescinded by a top law firm and was voted out as president of the school’s Student Bar Association after stating that Israel is to blame for the Hamas attacks that have killed more than 1,000 Israelis.
“Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life,” wrote Ryna Workman in the Student Bar Association newsletter.
The message drew swift rebukes from members of New York University’s community, as well as from Winston & Strawn, a law firm where Workman had previously been employed as an intern. Winston & Strawn said in a statement on Tuesday that it had learned of “certain inflammatory comments” regarding Hamas’ attack on Israel that was distributed to the NYU Student Bar Association, although the firm didn’t refer to Workman by name.
“These comments profoundly conflict with Winston & Strawn’s values as a firm,” it said. “Accordingly, the firm has rescinded the law student’s offer of employment.”