One of our major focuses is to protect and defend Jewish and pro-Israel student advocates on U.S. campuses who are being threatened, intimidated, and often physically assaulted by anti-Israel student groups and faculty or administration members. We will take all legal actions necessary to secure for them a learning environment free of unlawful harassment and intimidation, including filing Title VI civil rights suits, Office of Civil Rights complaints, tort suits in cases of assault, and First Amendment litigation when schools refuse to permit pro-Israel events.
We have created a document called “Know Your Rights,” and partnered with every major Jewish campus organization (including Chabad on Campus, AEPi, StandWithUs, and Hillel International) to disseminate this document on campuses across the country. The document outlines the rights of Jewish students and explains what types of activities are legally impermissible, either by fellow students, faculty members, or university administrators. It also includes our contact information and the information of other legal organizations available so that any students who feel violated on campus can reach out for free legal assistance.
The LP is also a member of the EndBDS coalition with partner organizations StandWithUs, the Brandeis Center, ACLJ and ZOA. Through EndBDS.com, the partner organizations will respond to students facing anti-Semitism on university campuses, and each organization’s strengths will be utilized most effectively. We have already begun counseling students whom have reached out through EndBDS.com.
Further, we are spearheading the Voices4Justice campaign, a growing coalition of student groups and nonprofit organizations shaping the campus and media narrative on human rights violations in the Middle East and countering the Israeli Apartheid Week propaganda. The mission is to educate students about the real (and rampant) human rights violations occurring in Muslim-majority countries, and to empower students to speak up for those who are ignored by the media, human rights groups, and academics. The V4J campaign will include a Justice Week initiative, which will spotlight the innocent victims of Islamist regimes: Muslims, Christians, Jews, Yazidis, and other religious minorities; Muslim women and children recruited as sex slaves, and suicide bombers; and political dissidents, reformers, and human rights activists living. We will empower students to organize such events on and off campus, by providing funding, high-level speakers, promotional materials, a centralized website, press outreach, and a legal team to facilitate Justice Weeks nationwide.
LP is working hard in conjunction with partner organizations to pressure universities and the federal government to adopt the State Department definition of anti-Semitism. We believe this is a critical step in properly identifying, addressing and ultimately punishing acts of anti-Semitism that occur on campus, and that the adoption of the State Department definition will lead to more successful Title VI litigation and a more effective Office of Civil Rights (OCR) resolution process.
In conjunction with the aforementioned campus initiatives, LP lawyers will be addressing student groups at events and conventions, such as the AEPi International Summit, making them aware of their rights and the existence of legal groups like LP that offer consultation and pro bono representation where necessary.