University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill agrees to resolution over anti-Semitism complaint


(JTA) — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has agreed to a resolution agreement with the U.S. Department of Education over an anti-Semitism complaint.

The Zionist Organization of America filed the complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in April over a university-sponsored conference the previous month titled “Conflict over Gaza: People, Politics and Possibilities.” The conference featured a performance by the Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar that was condemned as anti-Semitic. Days after the conference, swastikas and anti-Semitic fliers were discovered on campus.

Under the resolution, the university agreed to respond to and investigate allegations of anti-Semitic harassment and to issue a statement that such harassment will not be tolerated. UNC also said it would host meetings for students and staff to talk about concerns over anti-Semitism and to include anti-Semitic harassment issues in staff training.

“UNC has agreed to take concrete, meaningful steps that will make it clear to the entire university community that anti-Semitic harassment is illegal and will not be tolerated,” Morton Klein, ZOA’s national president, and Susan Tuchman, director of its Center for Law and Justice, said in a statement. “In addition, UNC has committed itself to investigate and effectively address any incidents of anti-Semitic harassment that occur.”

The complaint was filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Title VI prohibits national origin and other forms of discrimination at federally funded programs, and protects Jewish students from anti-Semitic harassment.

The Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation in June, but earlier this month notified ZOA that the university agreed to resolve the complaint through a resolution agreement before its completion.

Recommended from JTA