Photo Credit: Ariel Hayat via Flickr
Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley

The US Dept. of Education’s Office for Civil Rights on Tuesday added US Berkeley to the list of its open list of Title VI Shared Ancestry Investigations. The list includes close to 50 colleges, universities, and K-12 school districts that have faced civil rights investigations related to shared-ancestry discrimination since October 7, 2023. Among them are Illinois Wesleyan University, Middlebury College, Swarthmore College, and Rockland Community College in New York.

The list does not offer details regarding the nature of the investigations, other than potential violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which mandates federally funded institutions to safeguard students against discrimination based on race, color, or national origin.


On February 27, Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Benjamin Hermalin sent the following message to the Berkeley campus community:

“Last night an event was scheduled featuring a speaker from Israel, who had been invited to campus by some of our student organizations. Minutes before the event was to start, a crowd of some 200 protesters began to surround the building. Doors were broken open and the protesters gained unauthorized entry to the building. The event was canceled, and the building was evacuated to protect the speaker and members of the audience.
“We want to express our deep remorse and sympathy to those students and members of the public who were in the building, fearing for their safety. Today, like last night, our colleagues in Student Affairs are reaching out with offers of support and we are urging students to report what they witnessed and experienced to UCPD and/or our Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination. We share your anger and concern, and we understand that we must do all that we can to prevent anything like this from happening again.”

The speaker was Ran Bar-Yoshafat, deputy director of the Kohelet Policy Forum. He told JTA, “They’re giving a prize to the violent side, and basically shutting down the person who wants to speak. I didn’t get a chance to even say, ‘Hello, my name is Ran.’”

Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof reported that several Jewish students complained to campus police of physical and verbal abuse and that not all the 200 attackers were Berkeley students.


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