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Major law firm to accuse elite universities of civil rights violations for enabling antisemitic mobs


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A major New York law firm told Fox News Digital it expects to sue a number of universities for the alleged violation of Jewish students’ civil rights, while demanding immediate remedial changes and financial penalties.

“Students are coming to us. Because they are afraid for their physical safety,” Mark P. Ressler, a partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres who is readying up to launch lawsuits against universities, said. Ressler told Fox News his investigations proceeded the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks and will allege that some universities have a “double standard” when it comes to taking action against Jewish civil rights abuses, while tackling civil rights concerns from other minority groups. 

“We will be alleging in these lawsuits and will be proving in court that the schools were acutely aware of the dire situation for Jewish students on the campuses. They knew about the anti-Jewish harassment, and they looked the other way and engaged in what the law describes as deliberate indifference. They knew they had to act. Students were begging them to act, and the schools did absolutely nothing,” he said. 

Universities the firm is targeting include Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, New York University, MIT, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania and UC-Berkeley. 


Mark Ressler

Mark P. Ressler is a partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres, a firm which plans to launch suits. (Fox News Digital )

“I’ll tell you exactly what [Jewish students] feel like. They’re traumatized,” he said. “We have spoken to dozens of students who are traumatized. They are suffering enormous emotional distress. Some of them have seen their grades plummet. Some of them cower in their dormitory or apartment rather than venturing out to enjoy college. Some of them have hunkered down at home with their parents. It’s an intolerable situation. And it’s a situation that can be remedied.” 

Ressler also revealed a startling allegation he intends to expose – that some universities selectively enforce Title IX civil rights law and deny Jewish students the same treatment as other minority groups. 

“One fact that has emerged in our investigations is that it is extremely rare for any of these universities to take disciplinary action against students… and professors who are engaging in anti-Jewish harassment,” he said. “That’s profoundly distressing because these same schools readily mete out discipline with respect to students and professors who are engaging in unlawful harassment of other minority groups on campus, as they should. There should be a zero tolerance for abuse and harassment of any minority group. Period, full stop. But the schools have applied a double standard, and that will be part of our lawsuit as well.” 


Palestinian protests at college

Campus leaders and Jewish voices are sounding the alarm on antisemitism at U.S. colleges following Hamas’ terrorist attack against Israeli civilians. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images/Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

Ressler said he is in touch with non-Jewish students who are angered about some universities’ alleged failure to act against the “rampaging mobs of students.” 

“Non-Jewish students, generally speaking, don’t want their campuses turned into hotbeds of hatred,” he said. “They’re there to go to class and socialize and engage in extracurricular activities and enjoy college life. And so there are any number of non-Jewish students who we’ve communicated with who are outraged about the fact that their college life has been turned upside down because universities permit rampaging mobs of students. And it’s a fringe element to take over the campus and scream genocidal chants and wreak havoc.” 

Ressler said these universities may just be a starting point for his firm’s investigations. 

“It is an evolving situation… That number might well increase based on the information we’re obtaining. And our list of schools and our list of students grows on a daily basis,” he said. 

Israel and Palestinian rallies

Pro-Israeli and Palestinian protesters rally on college campuses.  (Getty Images)


“The University has not received notice of any suit. Antisemitism violates our rules; we take the issues of antisemitism and any other forms of hate very seriously, and we are committed to safeguarding our community and providing an environment in which all students can live and learn in peace,” NYU spokesperson John Beckman told Fox News. “NYU has promptly reviewed and opened investigations into reported complaints of antisemitism and related misconduct.”

Cornell declined to comment, and the other universities named did not respond to Fox News’ requests for comment in time for publication.

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