University of Southern California probed by feds for allegedly allowing anti-Semitic attacks against student

University of Southern California probed by feds for allegedly allowing anti-Semitic attacks against student

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The Department of Education opened an investigation into the University of Southern California on Tuesday after a student said she was forced to resign as the student body’s vice president due to an onslaught of anti-Semitic attacks. 

The Louis D. Brandeis Center filed the complaint on behalf of the student, Rose Ritch, alleging that USC “failed to take prompt and effective steps to end the harassment or eliminate the hostile environment.”

Ritch was originally elected as vice president of the undergraduate student government in February 2020, but said she was the target of anti-Semitic harassment during her campaign and after the election. 

FILE - This March 12, 2019, file photo shows the University Village area of the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. 

FILE – This March 12, 2019, file photo shows the University Village area of the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Fellow students told the student body president to “tell your Zionist a** VP to resign,” said that Ritch “has openly expressed pro-Israeli sentiment and alienated Palestinian students,” and asked how Ritch planned to “hold [herself] accountable as a very vocal Zionist,” according to the complaint. 

UN BODY ISSUES ‘ANTISEMITIC REPORT’ AGAINST ISRAEL, CRITICS CHARGE

Ritch stepped down in August 2020, writing in an op-ed for Newsweek that she was “harassed and pressured for months” over her identity as “a Jew who supports Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state—i.e., a Zionist.”

“The suggestion that my support for a Jewish homeland would make me unfit for office, or would justify my impeachment, plays into the oldest and most wretched stereotypes of Jews: accusations of dual loyalty and holding all Jews responsible for the actions of the Israeli government,” Ritch wrote. 

People walk on an empty University of Southern California (USC) campus in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 17, 2020.  

People walk on an empty University of Southern California (USC) campus in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 17, 2020.   (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

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A spokesperson for the USC said Tuesday that the school has “made a number of commitments to combat antisemitism and anti-Jewish hatred” over the last two years. 

“We are continuing to take these steps to further build on the welcoming environment we have created for our Jewish community. We look forward to addressing any concerns or questions by the U.S. Department of Education regarding this matter,” the spokesperson told Fox News Digital. 

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