The Department of Education has launched investigations into seven colleges after complaints of anti-Semitism and islamophobia on campus.

The seven schools include Ivy League schools such as Cornell University, Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Five of the investigations are in response to allegations of anti-Semitic harassment, while two are in response to allegations of anti-Muslim harassment.

These are the first investigations of their kind following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, which has prompted protests on campuses across the country

The Department of Education announced the inquiries on Thursday, calling it part of the Biden administration’s effort to take ‘aggressive action’ against discrimination. 

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks with students during a visit to Towson University to discuss anti-Semitism on college campuses, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks with students during a visit to Towson University to discuss anti-Semitism on college campuses, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks with students during a visit to Towson University to discuss anti-Semitism on college campuses, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023

The Education Department announced the inquiries on Thursday, calling it part of the Biden administration's effort to take 'aggressive action' against discrimination

The Education Department announced the inquiries on Thursday, calling it part of the Biden administration's effort to take 'aggressive action' against discrimination

The Education Department announced the inquiries on Thursday, calling it part of the Biden administration’s effort to take ‘aggressive action’ against discrimination

The schools include one K-12 school, the Maize Unified School District in Kansas, and six colleges. 

The six are Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, Cornell University in New York, Columbia University in New York, Wellesley College in Massachusetts, The Cooper Union in New York, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Once the Department of Education has concluded their investigation, they will be making recommendations to the institutes. 

Schools found to have violated civil rights law can face penalties up to a total loss of federal money, although the vast majority of cases end in voluntary settlements. 

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said: ‘Hate has no place in our schools, period. 

‘When students are targeted because they are—or are perceived to be—Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Sikh, or any other ethnicity or shared ancestry, schools must act to ensure safe and inclusive educational environments where everyone is free to learn.’

All of the investigations were opened Wednesday or Thursday. An updated list of investigations will be released each week, the department said. 

Since the conflict in the Middle East started last month, campuses have seen a rise in tension over the war.

The conflict has prompted strong international reactions, ranging from peaceful protests to acts of violent anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. 

The Anti-Defamation League reported a nearly 400 percent spike in incidents in the US between October 7 and October 23. 

Earlier this month, Cornell student Patrick Dia confessed to FBI agents that he made heinous threats against Jewish students at the school. 

In a series of posts on the Greekrank forum, he threatened to shoot, stab and kill ‘pig Jews’, referring to himself as ‘Hamas’.

Cornell student Patrick Dai, seen here, confessed to making heinous threats against Jews after FBI agents traced his IP address to campus and his hometown

Cornell student Patrick Dai, seen here, confessed to making heinous threats against Jews after FBI agents traced his IP address to campus and his hometown

Cornell student Patrick Dai, seen here, confessed to making heinous threats against Jews after FBI agents traced his IP address to campus and his hometown 

In a series of posts on the Greekrank forum, he threatened to shoot, stab and kill 'pig Jews', one post is seen above

In a series of posts on the Greekrank forum, he threatened to shoot, stab and kill 'pig Jews', one post is seen above

In a series of posts on the Greekrank forum, he threatened to shoot, stab and kill ‘pig Jews’, one post is seen above

The threats rattled the campus, closing the kosher dining hall out of fear for student safety. 

Dai was taken into custody after the FBI managed to trace his IP address, he is being held in Broome County while awaiting a court appearance. 

If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and fines of $250,000, with his parents claiming he is innocent. 

The posts made by Dai included calls for Palestine to be freed, and threats to target ‘104 West’ – the Cornell campus Center for Jewish Living. 

Besides students, Cornell Professor Russell Rickford was forced into a leave of absence after proclaiming the Hamas attack on Israel was ‘exhilarating’. 

Rickford, a history professor, later apologized for the remarks saying he was sorry ‘for the horrible choice of words that I used’. 

The university confirmed he would not be teaching for the remainder of the semester. 

Rickford is an associate professor of history and, according to his Twitter bio, a 'Historian of the Black radical tradition'

Rickford is an associate professor of history and, according to his Twitter bio, a 'Historian of the Black radical tradition'

Rickford is an associate professor of history and, according to his Twitter bio, a ‘Historian of the Black radical tradition’

Outside of Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania came under fire earlier this month after anti-Jewish slogans were projected onto three of the school’s buildings. 

One message splashed across the John M Huntsman hall said: ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’.

Slogans projected on Penn Commons read: ‘Zionism is racism’ and demanded UPenn president Liz Magill call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

These projections followed the school increasing security and contacting the FBI over a string of reports of threats against Jewish students. 

UPenn said that several of its staff members received ‘vile, disturbing anti-Semitic emails’ threatening violence against Jews on campus.  

University president Liz Magill also acknowledged ‘swastikas and hateful graffiti’ at the school. 

The University of Pennsylvania came under fire earlier this month after anti-Jewish slogans were projected onto three of the school's buildings

The University of Pennsylvania came under fire earlier this month after anti-Jewish slogans were projected onto three of the school's buildings

The University of Pennsylvania came under fire earlier this month after anti-Jewish slogans were projected onto three of the school’s buildings

One message splashed across the John M Huntsman hall said: 'From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free'.

One message splashed across the John M Huntsman hall said: 'From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free'.

One message splashed across the John M Huntsman hall said: ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’.

In New York City, students at Columbia University who signed a letter blaming Israel for the October 7 attack were openly doxed by a box truck. 

The truck, sponsored by a group called Accuracy in Media, has shown on a panel screen on its side the faces and names of students beneath the words ‘Columbia’s Leading Antisemites.’

Students signed on a statement saying that the ‘weight of responsibility for the war and casualties deniably lies with the Israeli extremist government.’

Last week, the University suspended Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) after unauthorized campus protests. 

The two student organizations are suspended as official student groups through the end of the fall semester. 

SJP is a network of pro-Palestinian student groups across the US which spread anti-Israel propaganda often mixed with antiemetic, provocative and sometimes violent messaging.

The Accuracy in Media 'doxxing truck' paid a visit to Columbia to highlight the names and faces of students who signed a letter blaming Israel for the October 7 terror attack

The Accuracy in Media 'doxxing truck' paid a visit to Columbia to highlight the names and faces of students who signed a letter blaming Israel for the October 7 terror attack

The Accuracy in Media ‘doxxing truck’ paid a visit to Columbia to highlight the names and faces of students who signed a letter blaming Israel for the October 7 terror attack

Pro-Israel students take part in a protest in support of Israel amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza, at Columbia University in New York City, October 12, 2023

Pro-Israel students take part in a protest in support of Israel amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza, at Columbia University in New York City, October 12, 2023

Pro-Israel students take part in a protest in support of Israel amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza, at Columbia University in New York City, October 12, 2023 

Pro-Palestinian students take part in a protest in support of the Palestinians amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza, at Columbia University in New York City, October 12, 2023

Pro-Palestinian students take part in a protest in support of the Palestinians amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza, at Columbia University in New York City, October 12, 2023

Pro-Palestinian students take part in a protest in support of the Palestinians amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza, at Columbia University in New York City, October 12, 2023 

Immediately following the October 7 many SJP chapters released statements of support, including imagery of the attacks and applauded the rape and murder as Palestinian ‘resistance’ to Israel.

JVP is an anti-Zionist group that supports the international boycott movement against Israel.

Suspension means the two student groups will not be eligible to host events on campus or receive university funding until the end of the semester.

Columbia also launched an antisemitism taskforce to tackle ‘terribly resilient form of hatred’ after a number of Jewish-related assaults and harassment on campus. 

Other incidents at campuses include Jewish students at Cooper Union, also in New York City, being forced to take shelter inside a library on campus to avoid a pro-Palestine mob. 

Late last month, a group chanting ‘Free, free Palestine’ held a protest in the lobby of the college near Astor Place in Manhattan. 

The crowd barged past a security guard and attempted to storm the library, where Jewish students had taken refuge. Those inside were later let out. 

A pro-Palestine mob is seen making their way past a security guard, yelling: 'Free, free Palestine'

A pro-Palestine mob is seen making their way past a security guard, yelling: 'Free, free Palestine'

A pro-Palestine mob is seen making their way past a security guard, yelling: ‘Free, free Palestine’

At Harvard University, which is not being investigated, the Palestinian Solidarity Committee has been condemned for issuing a letter on October 7. 

Co-signed by 33 other Harvard student organizations, stating: ‘We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.’

Some of the signatories have been named and shamed, and billionaire financier Bill Ackman is demanding that companies refuse to hire them.

Harvard’s president has apologized for the statement, and said it does not represent the views of the university.

Earlier this week, three students sued New York University (NYU), which is also not being probed, for failing to protect them against ‘festering Jewish hatred’. 

Their lawsuit, filed in New York federal court, says the college has been giving 'mobs of students carte blanche to harass and intimidate NYU's Jewish population' Pictured: NYU protest on October 25

Their lawsuit, filed in New York federal court, says the college has been giving 'mobs of students carte blanche to harass and intimidate NYU's Jewish population' Pictured: NYU protest on October 25

Their lawsuit, filed in New York federal court, says the college has been giving ‘mobs of students carte blanche to harass and intimidate NYU’s Jewish population’ Pictured: NYU protest on October 25

Their lawsuit, filed in New York federal court, says the college has been giving ‘mobs of students carte blanche to harass and intimidate NYU’s Jewish population’ through its ‘actions and inactions’ over the past month. 

It alleges ‘the age-old virus of antisemitism is alive and well at New York University’ and has grown worse after Hamas’ horrific October 7 incursion into Israel brought tensions to a boiling point.

NYU has contested their claims, telling DailyMail.com they ‘do not accurately describe conditions on our campus,’ and that it ‘looks forward to setting the record straight’ in court. 

In the wake of the terror attack and as Israel hit back with airstrikes on Gaza, NYU students clamored to support Palestine through mass protests.

Many demonstrations turned toxic with anti-Semitic banners and chants making an appearance. 

A handful of youngsters even brandished signs saying ‘keep the world clean’ with an illustration of a trash can with the Star of David inside.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail

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