Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the latest college that has been slapped with a lawsuit over antisemitism on campus following the Hamas terrorist attacks and the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

Jewish students at the Cambridge campus have filed a federal lawsuit against MIT, arguing that the university has turned a blind eye to “hateful antisemitic discrimination and harassment.”

College campuses across the country have been bitterly divided since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks, including colleges around the Boston-area. Harvard University has been front-and-center amid the Israel-Hamas war, and students there have sued Harvard over “severe and pervasive” antisemitism on campus.

Now, MIT students have filed a federal lawsuit against the university in Massachusetts District Court, claiming that MIT has deliberately ignored antisemitism in violation of the students’ rights under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

The students allege that MIT has turned a blind eye to antisemitism on campus — refusing to enforce policies to protect Jewish and Israeli students and faculty. That has led to a “hostile educational environment” for Jews, according to the suit filed by StandWithUs Center for Legal Justice and two MIT students.

“MIT’s actions (and inactions) with regard to hateful antisemitic discrimination and harassment targeting its Jewish and Israeli students demonstrate, at best, a deliberate indifference to protect MIT students from hateful antisemitic discrimination and harassment,” reads the lawsuit.

MIT student protesters have reportedly disrupted classes and intimidated Jewish professors by yelling outside their offices while rattling the doors, according to the suit.

One professor described incidents in which Jewish and Israeli MIT students were physically prevented from attending a class by anti-Israel students. Jewish students claimed that rather than dispersing the protesters, MIT warned Jewish students to steer clear of certain areas. There were reportedly no repercussions for the disruptive protesters.

“Jewish students are asking for nothing more than what the law affords them and what MIT promises to each student: a safe and discrimination-free education,” said attorney Marlene Goldenberg, who’s one of the lawyers representing the Jewish students in court.

“Jewish students, like all students, should not have to feel unsafe at MIT,” Goldenberg added.

The lawsuit is asking the court to order MIT to: pay monetary damages to Jewish students; fire certain staff members; expel/suspend certain students; provide education about antisemitism; and tell the MIT community that the university will “punish any conduct that discriminates against or harasses members of the Jewish community.”

An MIT spokesperson said in a statement on Friday, “We have not been served with the complaint and MIT does not, as a typical practice, comment on pending litigation. Generally, we’d note MIT has established processes in place to address concerns of discrimination and harassment.”

A few months ago, the leaders of Harvard, MIT and UPenn testified in front of Congress about antisemitism on campus. Claudine Gay later resigned as Harvard’s president following her controversial comments, and in the wake of plagiarism allegations. UPenn’s leader also stepped down. MIT President Sally Kornbluth has remained in the top campus role.

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