The Michigan Union on the University of Michigan Campus. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The Lawfare Project warned the University of Michigan on Tuesday that it is “subject to liability under federal anti-discrimination law, as well as other provisions of federal and state law following its unsatisfactory response to several major incidents of anti-Semitism on its campus.”

These include two pro-BDS instructors denying students letters of recommendation to study in Israel for a semester and a visiting lecture comparing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler, in addition to demonizing Jews and Zionism.

“We are monitoring the situation at U-M very carefully, watching to see what the University Administration says and does moving forward,” said Lawrence Hill, board chairman of the Lawfare Project, a legal think tank. “There is no academic benefit from the use of images invoking the most hateful and conspiratorial anti-Semitic canards, and no free speech right to impose one’s own political agenda on students under one’s control and tutelage.”

“U-M has a moral and legal responsibility to address discrimination on campus, and we hope it will take swift action to fulfill that obligation,” added Hill.

On Sunday, the Lawfare Project delivered a memorandum to U-M administrators regarding the incidents. “This is neither an issue of free speech nor an issue of academic freedom,” it states. “A refusal by a state actor to write a letter of recommendation for Jewish students wishing to study in the Jewish state is not protected speech — it is unlawful conduct.”

“These principles are enshrined in American jurisprudence: one cannot refuse services to an individual based on that person’s membership in a protected class, and then attempt to hide their bigotry behind the First Amendment,” the memorandum adds.

It mentions one of the instructors, John Cheney-Lippold, oversaw a debate on the “merits” of BDS that “resulted in Jewish students becoming so uncomfortable in class that they felt forced to drop the course.”

“This is akin to requiring African-American students wishing to study American Culture on a public university campus to participate in a debate on the ‘merits’ of Jim Crow laws, segregation and ‘separate but equal,’ ” states the memorandum. “We know that such a despicably racist conversation would never be tolerated.”

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  1. But this can’t be. U of M is a bastion of liberal, Democratic, progressive thinking. How can this possibly be anti-Semitic? I just read in the DJN that 74% of Jews plan to vote for these anti-Semites, why the disconnect? It is almost as if it makes no sense at all for Jews to keep pretending that they are included in the progressive alliance. That huge portions of the African American population hate them. That universities teach anti-Israel anti-Jewish propaganda. That for every neo-Nazi there are a thousand leftist Jew haters. That the Democrats cannot distance themselves from Farrakhan and Sharpton and make Ellison the number two person in their party. It makes no sense.

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