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New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Student criticizes NYU’s handling of antisemitism at House Republican briefing

The student joined Jewish students from three other U.S. universities in criticizing administrators for their response to antisemitism on campus at a news briefing hosted by House Republicans on Tuesday.
Kiran Komanduri
(Kiran Komanduri for WSN)

Jewish students from NYU, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology testified about their experiences with antisemitism on campus since the start of the Israel-Hamas war at a news briefing held by House Republicans on Tuesday. 

The students, among them NYU junior Bella Ingber, criticized their respective universities for their handling of antisemitism, accusing them of inaction and of inconsistently enforcing conduct policies. Ingber and two other Jewish students filed a lawsuit against NYU last month, claiming the university has been indifferent to instances of antisemitism on campus and violated civil rights laws. NYU has denied these allegations, saying it has implemented measures to combat antisemitism on campus.

“Since Oct. 7, the unmistakable antisemitism that I have experienced on campus is reminiscent of the Jew hatred I’ve heard about from my grandparents — Holocaust survivors — who experienced first-hand the deafening silence of their neighbors in Poland and Germany when the Nazi’s first rose to power,” Ingber said. “We are not going anywhere. Antisemitism and the support for terror should have no home at NYU or any other college campus.”

House Republicans, including speaker Mike Johnson, expressed support for the four students and for Israel. Elise Stefanik, the representative from New York, called for “Harvard and schools like it” not to be allowed to “collect taxpayer dollars,” and for Harvard president Claudine Gay to resign from her position.

“Jewish students, faculty and communities at these so-called ‘elite’ institutions, including my alma mater Harvard, Jewish students are facing sustained attacks from students and professors who are openly propagandizing terror,” Stefanik said. “And why? Merely because these Jewish students exist.”

In her testimony, Ingber also referenced being involved in an incident at Bobst Library in early November, where police detained a male NYU student after he initiated a physical altercation with her during a pro-Israeli sit-in. The student also called Ingber antisemitic slurs around the time of the incident, according to a student witness at the time. 

At the briefing, Ingber said that the attacker, who has since been charged with assault, is “[roaming] freely throughout the campus.” She said she frequently encounters chants such as “Gas the Jews” and “Hitler was right” on campus, which she also stated in her lawsuit.

The meeting was followed by a hearing before a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, where House Republicans grilled the presidents of Harvard, UPenn and MIT about their responses to antisemitism on campus.

“Antisemitic rhetoric — when it crosses into conduct that amounts to bullying, harassment, intimidation — that is actionable conduct, and we do take action,” Gay said at the hearing.

From early on, NYU has faced backlash for its response to the war from both pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian students, faculty and alumni, despite several attempts to take action against antisemitism and anti-Arab sentiment on campus. In October, the university was named twice in a U.S. Senate resolution condemning “antisemitic student activities” at colleges across the country, and President Linda Mills and other U.S. university presidents were criticized for their responses to conduct on campus by the Israeli government.

In November, the university announced its plans to establish a Center for the Study of Antisemitism next fall, which will focus on the history of antisemitism and will also include programs centered around other forms of prejudice and bias. Mills recently gave an update to her 10 Point Plan for Student Safety and Well-being, where she said NYU is reviewing more than 90 student conduct cases and that some students have been suspended or faced other forms of disciplinary action “related to current concerns.” 

A university spokesperson did not respond to immediate requests for comment.

Contact Dharma Niles at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Dharma Niles
Dharma Niles, Deputy News Editor
Dharma Niles is a first-year student currently studying journalism and politics at CAS, and has yet to choose between the six different minors she'd also like to pursue. You can generally find her playing NYT games, skittering around the city with a Celsius in hand or on Instagram @dharmaniles.

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