Williams College Faces Federal Investigation for Discrimination Against Pro-Israel Student Group

A pro-Israel demonstrators waves flags, toward the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of Congress. In a speech that stirred political intrigue in two countries, Netanyahu told Congress that negotiations underway between Iran and the U.S. would "all but …
AP/Cliff Owen

Williams College is facing a federal investigation over its decision to refuse official recognition to a pro-Israel student organization.

According to a report by Newsweek, Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is facing a federal investigation by the Department of Education over a student government decision to refuse official recognition to a pro-Israel student club.

The student government at Williams College rejected a proposal to create a pro-Israel student group called the Williams College Initiative for Israel.

David Bernstein, a law professor at George Mason University, filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in response to the decision by the student government.

“I read about the situation at Williams College, I was outraged, and it was Yom HaShoah [Holocaust Remembrance Day], so I felt compelled to do something about it,” Bernstein said in a comment. “In my experience, Jewish professionals on campus aren’t sufficiently assertive in such matters, and students have lots of others things on their plate, so I figured that if I didn’t do something, no one would.”

Administrators at Williams College were quick to criticize the decision, arguing that it may violate official college policy. In a statement, Williams College President Maud Mandel said that it is not acceptable to reject a student organization on the basis of its beliefs. “We’ve always expected the Council to follow its own processes and bylaws. I’m disappointed that that didn’t happen in this instance … Differences over such views are legitimate grounds for debate, but not for exercising the power to approve or reject a student group,” Mandel said.

Gregory Shook, the Williams College Director of Media Relations, said in a brief statement that the college plans to comply with the Office of Civil Right’s investigation. “Williams welcomes the opportunity to work with the [OCR],” Shook said. “Our goal is to educate our students about governance and campus climate. Partnering with OCR is a valuable way to move that effort forward.”

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this campus.


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