Back in June of 2010 a leader of a pro-Palestinian student group at University of Berkeley allegedly rammed a Jewish woman with a shopping cart as she staged a counter-protest to an anti-Israel “Apartheid Week” rally conducted by the Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine. The counter-protest was dubbed “Israel Wants Peace Week.”
Now, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg has deemed that the Muslim students who harassed Jessica Felber and other Jewish students were simply engaging in protected political speech.
The Greeley Gazette reports:
On Thursday U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg said the harassment, even if true, constituted protected political speech and dismissed the case against the university.
Seeborg said the university did not have any obligation to intervene in any dispute where a private individual on campus was allegedly interfering with another’s constitutional rights. He instead appeared to indicate that the incident was an outcome of Felber’s counter protest.
Felber and another Jewish student claimed the University did not do enough to prevent the harassment which included the Muslim group conducting checkpoints around the campus. Students were asked if they were Jewish while passing the checkpoints.
“The incident in which Felber was assaulted with a shopping cart, for example, did not occur in the context of her educational pursuit,” Seeborg stated. “Rather, that event occurred when she, as one person attempting to exercise free speech rights in a public forum, was allegedly attacked by another person who likewise was participating in a public protest in a public forum.”