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Middlebury College Tries to Cover Up its Disturbing Response to Antisemitism Charges in StandWithUs’ Title VI Filing

Updated: Feb 22

On February 16, 2024, StandWithUs Center for Legal Justice (SCLJ) filed a Title VI federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, detailing how Middlebury College showed deliberate indifference to its Jewish students’ complaints of a hostile, antisemitic campus environment. In the days since, the College has posted and reposted variations of a lengthy response on its website. Astonishingly, in these posts, Middlebury conceded many of the allegations in SCLJ’s Title VI complaint. Read more below. 


Read our Title VI Middlebury press release HERE and complaint HERE. Take action HERE. See more info about this Middlebury Title VI campaign HERE.


Middlebury College Tries to Cover Up its Disturbing Response to Antisemitism Charges in StandWithUs’ Title VI Filing

(Middlebury, Vermont — February 21, 2024) On February 16, 2024, StandWithUs Center for Legal Justice (SCLJ) filed a Title VI federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, detailing how Middlebury College showed deliberate indifference to its Jewish students’ complaints of a hostile, antisemitic campus environment. Later that day, the College posted a lengthy response on its website titled, “How Middlebury is Handling the Tensions Surrounding the Israel/Gaza War.” Astonishingly, in that post, Middlebury conceded many of the allegations in SCLJ’s Title VI complaint.


Three days later, on February 19, 2024, Middlebury stealth-deleted portions of its response in an apparent attempt to cover up some of its more incriminating admissions. Later that day, Middlebury deleted the webpage entirely. Then, on February 20, 2024, Middlebury reposted an even more sanitized version as, “Middlebury’s Educational Approaches to the War in Israel and Gaza.” SCLJ has screenshotted all versions. Admissions in Middlebury’s posts include:


  • In the original post, Middlebury affirmed that the antisemitic chant for the genocide of Jews, “From the river to the sea [Palestine will be free]” is perfectly acceptable discourse on its campus:



  • In both the original and second (now-deleted) posts, Middlebury admitted that on November 9, 2023, a mere month after Hamas’ October 7 massacre, Middlebury “supported” the Muslim Student Association’s “vigil honoring the Palestinian people and their struggle for liberation ” (emphasis added). This admission is conspicuously missing from a listing on Middlebury's Events Calendar and from Middlebury’s sanitized post of February 20, 2024:

  • In all versions, with slight variation, Middlebury posted a laundry list of tenuous examples of “support” that it claimed to have provided to its Jewish students after October 7, which, when examined closely, admitted to administrative knowledge of and deliberate indifference to campus antisemitism, including:

  • An “Antisemitism Working Group” whose only known activity is a January 2022 statement that lists among its members the current co-president of Middlebury’s Students for Justice Palestine, an antisemitic group on campus. Middlebury’s newest post reveals that this group has renamed itself, “The Coalition for Dismantling Antisemitism at Middlebury,” and still cannot point to anything specific it has done to combat antisemitism since October 7. It is comprised solely of Middlebury faculty and staff, including some of the very same administrators alleged in SCLJ’s complaint to be complicit in antisemitic activities.

  • In the original post, Middlebury falsely claimed that Middlebury’s president condemned Hamas and pledged support for students and community members in the remarks she sent to be read at an October 11, 2023 Jewish unity vigil. 

However, Middlebury forgot to stealth-edit those brief remarks before asserting this claim. Unfortunately for Middlebury, they are still available online and make no mention either of Hamas or a pledge of support. Rather, they condemned the “deeply painful, destructive, and unacceptable violence we have seen in Israel and Gaza,” blurring all distinction between Hamas’ barbaric atrocities on October 7 and the Jewish state’s military response to those atrocities.

  • The deleted posts mentioned that Khuram Hussain, Vice President of Equity and Inclusion provided remarks at the “Vigil for Palestine.” Though Mr. Hussain is also listed among the members of the “Coalition for Dismantling Antisemitism at Middlebury,” he was not similarly sent to speak at the Jewish Unity Vigil, further demonstrating both the farcical nature of that coalition and the discriminatory treatment of Jewish students in contrast to other groups on campus.


Middlebury tried to hide this inequity by changing its descriptions of its involvement in both vigils to mirror each other in its latest post. Its February 20, 2024, description of its involvement with the Jewish Unity Vigil elides Middlebury’s efforts to prevent the Jewish vigil and removes any specific mention of Chabad, stating that “Student Affairs, Public Safety, and the Events offices worked with Jewish organizations to support a vigil for Jewish unity in October.”


  • Middlebury stated that, rather than issue a public statement of support for its Jewish students on October 7, Middlebury administrators and staff “compiled a list of students known or believed to be particularly impacted by the war, offering individual outreach and support.” This opens more questions than it answers: were any Jewish students on this list? How did Middlebury determine which Jewish students to reach out to? How many students were included on that list? How does Middlebury intend to use its “Jewish list” in the future? Surprisingly, even Middlebury’s newest post retains this troubling example of Middlebury’s response to antisemitism.  

  • Middlebury’s statement took credit for initiatives that it did little to support and, in fact, attempted to hinder, such as the Jewish Unity Vigil on October 11, 2023, which was held in spite of Middlebury administrators’ efforts to quash it. As detailed in SCLJ’s complaint, administrators tried to postpone this vigil through bureaucratic hurdles; tried to prevent police presence at the event; asked Jewish students to change the name and nature of the October 7 vigil by not focusing on Jewish and Israeli victims, and not using symbols associated with Israel and Jews.  

  • Middlebury’s original post credited itself for its collaboration with Chabad. That has been scrubbed from the new version. Perhaps this is because the Title VI complaint alleges that Middlebury has refused to recognize Chabad as an official student organization for over six years, in unlawful and unequal treatment of a Jewish club.   

  • The Hillel rabbi, referred to throughout Middlebury’s statement as part of the campus response to antisemitism, is a paid employee of the University and regularly lets Hillel’s platform be used for anti-Zionist agitation and activity. Middlebury’s latest post refers to this rabbi outright as “the College rabbi” and “Middlebury’s rabbi,” thus providing further confirmation that she functions as an arm of the administration.

“Even the updated version of Middlebury’s response to SCLJ’s allegations of antisemitism was mendacious. It is no wonder that by the morning of February 20, 2024, Middlebury took its statement down from its website entirely and replaced it with an even more misleading post,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs. “Middlebury can no longer hide from its legal and moral duty to provide a campus environment for its Jewish students free from discrimination and harassment.”


Read our Title VI Middlebury press release HERE and complaint HERE. Take action HERE.



About the StandWithUs Center for Legal Justice  

The StandWithUs Center For Legal Justice (SCLJ) is a tax-exempt membership organization that partners with StandWithUs, a nonprofit education organization dedicated to supporting Israel and combating antisemitism. Comprised of students, professors, and community members, SCLJ enhances StandWithUs’ mission through impact litigation and other legal actions.


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