Department of Education opens anti-Semitism probe at UC Berkley
The Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights has opened an investigation in UC Berkeley Law School after some student groups adopted an "anti-Zionist" bylaw.
Zionism began as a political movement advocating for the restoration of a Jewish homeland, a goal it achieved with the creation of the modern state of Israel. Supporters of a Palestinian state have long contended that the movement amounts to colonialism.
Student groups at the law school earlier this year adopted a policy forbidding the invitation of speakers who support the Israel and the Zionist movement, according to Cleveland Jewish News.
The OCR agreed this week to investigate "[w]hether the University failed to respond appropriately in the fall 2022 semester to notice from Jewish law students, faculty, and staff that they experienced a hostile environment at the law school based on their shared Jewish ancestry when University-recognized student organizations passed a bylaw against inviting speakers who support 'Zionism, the state of Israel, and the occupation of Palestine.'"
The investigation follows a complaint from multiple Jewish attorneys who argue that the bylaw violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which bars those institutions receiving federal funds from discriminating by race, color, and national origin, Jewish News Syndicate reported at the time of the attorneys' November filing.