Skip To Content

Not the First Case

Your article (“Line Between Anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic Protests Splits AJC,” Aug. 16) inaccurately stated that the 2009 complaint alleging a hostile environment at UC Santa Cruz was the first case of anti-Semitism that the U.S. Department of Education ever agreed to investigate under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

In fact, the first case was triggered by the Zionist Organization of America’s 2004 complaint against UC Irvine. Unfortunately, mid-investigation, the department decided not to protect Jewish students under Title VI and dismissed the case.

We welcome American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris’ retraction o f his subordinate Ken Stern’s written public statement criticizing the reinterpretation of Title VI to now protect Jewish students. Proudly, the ZOA led a six-year battle to effect this change. What continues to be troubling is that Jewish defense organizations are still debating whether this legal tool should be available to Jewish students. Of course it should be.

Jewish students face increasing campus anti-Semitism, including vicious hostility toward Israel that can have the same effect on them as a swastika or an ethnic slur — making students feel unwelcome or even physically unsafe on campus, and afraid to show that they’re Jewish or support Israel.

Now that there’s a legal tool available when campus administrators refuse to address these problems, Jewish students should use it in the same way that African Americans and other targeted groups have done for close to 50 years, since Title VI was enacted in 1964.
Morton A. Klein

National President

Susan B. Tuchman

Director, Center for Law and Justice

Zionist Organization of America

New York


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.