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Jewish student sues Rutgers alleging antisemitic harassment

Says he is being punished for criticizing pro-Hamas video

A Jewish student sued Rutgers University on Tuesday, alleging he is being punished for speaking out against a pro-Hamas video that contained lies.

Yoel Ackerman, a first-year law student, claims in the lawsuit that “Rutgers wrongfully initiated disciplinary action against him when he reported to law school administrators what he deemed as pro-Hamas messages circulated by classmates in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel,” Reuters reported.

His attorney David Mazie said in a statement Tuesday that the Rutgers Student Bar Association also took action to impeach and remove Ackerman from its membership after he reported the video message, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The case stems from a group chat message that Ackerman received from another law student in October; the message contained an “antisemitic, false video parroting Hamas’ propaganda and misinformation regarding its October 7th terrorist attack,” according to the lawsuit.

Among other things, the video falsely claimed Hamas did not rape anyone or kill approximately 250 Israelis at a music festival Oct. 7; it also said “Palestinian resistance fighters” were “kind” and “merciful” to Israelis, the lawsuit states.

“When Mr. Ackerman objected to the dissemination of this false, abhorrent and discriminatory video, he was harassed,” the complaint states.

After Ackerman shared the message with school officials and other Jewish law students, another student complained to administrators that he was trying to “dox” pro-Palestinian law students; later, Rutgers “punished” Ackerman, according to the complaint.

“In addition, Rutgers has doubled down and has filed charges against Yoel in an effort to suspend or even expel him from the school for objecting to being subject to antisemitism,” his attorney said. “This is all happening while Rutgers has dropped the complaints against the students who circulated the propaganda video.”

Rutgers is one of several universities being sued for allegations connected to antisemitism. Others include the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California, Berkeley, and New York University.

At NYU, three Jewish students claim the school failed to protect them from antisemitism in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack, including “genocidal chants” such as “Hitler was right,” “gas the Jews,” “death to kikes,” and “from the river to the sea,” The College Fix reported.

MORE: Rutgers Students for Justice in Palestine accuses university of ‘racism,’ ‘repression’

IMAGE: Rutgers Student Bar Association/Facebook

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About the Author
Micaiah Bilger is an assistant editor at The College Fix.