Feds probe University of California, Berkeley anti-Semitism allegations

Left: Pro-Israel protester Micki Weinberg shouts at pro-Palestinian demonstrators; right: police arrest a pro-Palestinian demonstrator that occupied Wheeler Hall; both at the University of California, Berkeley campus, 4-9-02. AP

BERKELEY, Calif. Federal officials are investigating anti-Semitism allegations at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Los Angeles Times recent graduates claim university officials fomented a hostile campus climate for Jewish students by failing to curb anti-Israel protests.

They say a protest against Israel's treatment of Palestinians was one of several February "Apartheid Week" campus events that stoked anti-Semitic hate speech.

The U.S. Department of Education's civil rights office confirmed this week that it is investigating the allegations.

University spokesman Dan Mogulof says the protests were constitutionally protected speech and officials made efforts to maintain a safe and inclusive climate.

But Joel Siegal, one of two attorneys who filed the complaint, says activists with the Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine went beyond protected political protest.