Lawsuit Alleges Hostile Environment for Jews on San Francisco State Campus

A group of athletes runs past Mary Park Hall at San Francisco State University. (Credit: Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times)

Students and Jewish community members filed a lawsuit Monday against San Francisco State University and Cal State’s board of trustees, alleging that the San Francisco campus of the country’s largest public university system has long cultivated a hostile environment in which Jewish students are “often afraid to wear Stars of David or yarmulkes on campus, and regularly text their friends to describe potential safety issues.”

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California by attorneys from The Lawfare Project and the firm Winston & Strawn LLP, was prompted by a confrontation in April 2016, when the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, was invited by SF Hillel to speak on campus.

According to the lawsuit, protesters used bullhorns to drown out the mayor’s speech and yelled and chanted “Intifada,” “Get the [expletive] off our campus,” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” while university administrators allowed the disruption to continue and instructed campus police to “stand down.”

“SFSU has not merely fostered and embraced anti-Jewish hostility — it has systematically supported these departments and student groups as they have doggedly organized their efforts to target, threaten, and intimidate Jewish students on campus and deprive them of their civil rights and their ability to feel safe and secure as they pursue their education,” the lawsuit said.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.