‘FILTHY JEWS,’ ‘GENOCIDAL F**KS’: Jewish UVA student sues school, SJP over anti-Semitic harassment

Matan Goldstein, a UVA student and Israeli-American, details instances of anti-Semitic harassment against him and other Jewish students in a recent lawsuit.

‘Matan was berated, insulted, threatened with violence, and physically assaulted’ at one event, and other Jewish students were called slurs like ‘filthy Jews’ and ‘Nazi,’ the lawsuit states.

A University of Virginia student filed a lawsuit against school officials on May 17 in Charlottesville, citing anti-Semitism he faced on campus.

Matan Goldstein, an Israeli-American UVA student, is suing the school for damages, alleging that he became “a victim of hate-based, intentional discrimination, severe harassment and abuse, and illegal retaliation.”

In response to a request for comment, Goldstein’s legal representatives, Brown & Gavalier PLLC, directed Campus Reform to the lawsuit document. Besides naming UVA as the target, the lawsuit also names Rector Robert D. Hardie, President James E. Ryan, and UVA’s chapters of Faculty for Justice in Palestine (FJP) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). 

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The lawsuit claims that UVA’s campus police, the “Public Relations Apparatus,” and the school’s department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, among other administrative bodies, are charged “with protecting students from discrimination, harassment, abuse, violence, and retaliation, including antisemitism.” 

But, the lawsuit claims, UVA “and these legions of administrators, ‘deans’ and ’vice presidents,’ including Defendants Ryan and Hardie, have thoroughly and completely failed in that charge.”

The document mentions an Oct. 25 anti-Israel rally on campus that the FJP and SJP helped organize, shortly after Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist massacre in Israel. 

After finding out “that other Jewish and Israeli students were afraid to attend or even be seen observing the rally for fear of being harassed or abused by the protesters and out of fear of retaliation by the Ryan-Hardie Administration,” Goldstein decided “to attend, wearing his Yarmulke, his Star of David, and carrying the flag of Israel.”

While at the rally, “Matan was berated, insulted, threatened with violence, and physically assaulted,” the lawsuit states.

Goldstein’s lawyers assert that the SJP’s “misconduct was intentional, intended to discriminate, and intended to create a hostile environment towards and against Matan,” and that the group’s “actions towards and against Matan were motivated by racial, religious, ethnic, national origin, and shared ancestry animus and would not have occurred ‘but for’ those protected characteristics.”

Goldstein and other Jewish students were routinely called terms like “‘filthy Jews,’ ‘Hitler,’ ‘Nazi,’ and ‘genocidal [***ks],” his lawyers assert.  

Goldstein’s lawsuit also states: “The very existence of SJP at UVA; membership in the antisemitic, pro-Hamas organization; repeated violations of University policies and student codes of conduct; and the innumerable instances of hate-based misconduct alleged and referred to below constitute, as a matter of law, breaches of the numerous duties owed by SJP at UVA and its student-members to Matan and other members of the University community.”

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The lawsuit also claims, “According to FJP at UVA’s announcements and materials, ‘FJP supports, amplifies, and protects the work of SJP [National Students for Justice in Palestine] and other pro-Palestinian students and student groups at UVA,.” It continues: “Pro-Hamas faculty members have offered ‘extra credit’ and boosts in grades to students who attend anti-Israeli, antisemitic rallies.”

The complaint states that the university’s administration failed to adequately address the instances of anti-Semitism that Goldstein and others were subjected to, saying that “President Ryan and Rector Hardie refuse to acknowledge the antisemitism, refuse to acknowledge the hate, refuse to deploy and execute the massive assets that the University possesses to protect and help students like the Plaintiff, and refuse to personally even speak a few words of kindness, encouragement or support to Matan or his fellow Jewish students.”

Campus Reform has contacted the University of Virginia for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.