Senators question anti-Semitism decision


Three U.S. senators questioned a federal decision on alleged anti-Semitism at the University of California, Irvine.

Sens. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) wrote late last month to Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to express concern at the department’s response to Jewish complaints.

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights concluded in November that there was “insufficient evidence” to support allegations by the Zionist Organization of America that Jewish students had been intimidated and harassed for their beliefs.

Many of the allegations were beyond its authority, the civil rights office claimed, because they were based solely on religion.

The three senators disputed the last point and sought clarification of the office’s policy with respect to Jewish students. They further questioned why it took the office three years to respond to the ZOA complaints and did not interview witnesses suggested by the organization.

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