NYU settles antisemitism lawsuit brought by Jewish students

Police stand guard at the NYU campus, after students and pro-Palestinian supporters were removed after days of encampment, in New York

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) -New York University settled a lawsuit by Jewish students who accused the school of failing to stop antisemitism on campus.

Terms of the settlement reached on Monday were not immediately available. A lawyer for the students and an NYU spokesman said the parties will issue a joint statement on Tuesday.

The accord resolves one of the earliest of the many lawsuits accusing major universities, including New York's Columbia University, of allowing and encouraging antisemitism following the outbreak of war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.

It was announced the same day Brown University agreed to bolster nondiscrimination training for employees and students, to resolve a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education over its handling of discrimination and harassment claims, including those related to antisemitism.

The NYU lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court last November by Bella Ingber, Sabrina Maslavi and Saul Tawil, all juniors at the time.

They accused the school of violating federal civil rights law by enforcing its anti-discrimination policies unevenly, including by allowing chants such as "gas the Jews" and "Hitler was right" while ignoring other bigotry.

The plaintiffs also claimed that NYU administrators including President Linda Mills "ignored, slow-walked, or met with gaslighting" Jewish students' complaints.

NYU sought to dismiss the case, arguing that reports of antisemitism had declined significantly following an initial surge immediately after the war began.

It also said it had taken far more steps than the law required to address student concerns, including by adopting a "10 Point Plan" to boost on-campus security and disciplining people who violate its anti-discrimination policies.

Other schools that have faced similar lawsuits include Carnegie-Mellon, Harvard, MIT, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania.

A scheduled Tuesday court hearing on NYU's motion to dismiss the case was canceled.

The case is Ingber et al v New York University, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 23-10023.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot and David Gregorio)