Student who sued NYU over antisemitism praises Trump's executive order

The executive order "should serve as a source of empowerment to ensure that Jewish students can proudly live on campuses," Adela Cojab Moadeb wrote in a New York Post op-ed.

US President Donald Trump stands next to a former student of New York University speaking at the Israeli-American Council Summit in Hollywood, Florida, U.S. December 7, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/MARIA ALEJANDRA CARDONA)
US President Donald Trump stands next to a former student of New York University speaking at the Israeli-American Council Summit in Hollywood, Florida, U.S. December 7, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/MARIA ALEJANDRA CARDONA)
New York University alumna Adela Cojab Moadeb praised US President Donald Trump's executive order, which recognized Jewish students as a protected group under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
"When I sued NYU for campus antisemitism, college leaders shrugged. It took the US president to do something about it," Moadeb, a New York University graduate who sued the school over allegations of allowing antisemitism on campus, wrote in a New York Post op-ed.  She said that Trump's executive order "corrects a longtime gross injustice against Jewish students."
Moadeb was a speaker at the Israeli-American Council's 2019 summit in Florida, where she had the chance to stand on stage as "Trump affirmed the rights of Jewish students to a harassment-free environment on college campuses."
Before finishing her undergraduate degree at NYU, Moadeb filed a Title VI complaint against the school, claiming that the university allowed antisemitism to take place on campus. The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights eventually launched an investigation to determine whether NYU created a hostile environment for Jewish students and to evaluate its reactions to allegedly antisemitic incidences.
The main example in the case focused on the university awarding its chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) with the President’s Service Award, which NYU says is "given to students or student organizations that have had an extraordinary and positive impact on the University community."
"What did SJP do to 'earn' this prize?," Moadeb wrote in her op-ed. "They organized a 53-group boycott against Realize Israel, a non-political student organization, depicting assault rifles on flyers calling for a revolt. Further, at the 2018 Rave in the Park in which NYU students celebrated Israel Independence Day, one SJP member burned an Israeli flag and another physically assaulted a Jewish student; both students were arrested."
"NYU’s position stands in direct defiance of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which states, 'If an institution knows or has reason to know about student-on-student harassment, Title VI requires that the school take immediate and effective action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and, where appropriate, address its effects on the harassed student and the school community.'"
When Moadeb filed her complaint, religion was not protected under civil rights law, which Trump changed last week when he signed an executive order that calls on government departments enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.
Despite her legal battle with the university, Moadeb does not think that withdrawing support from NYU is the solution. Instead, she calls on Jewish students to attend the university, lest the antisemites "win."
"If anything, the president’s executive order should serve as a source of empowerment to ensure that Jewish students can proudly live on campuses without checking any part of their identities at the door.
"The more Jewish students are excluded from arenas like campus life, the more their position is jeopardized as integral components of the fabric of the academic world. Antisemites have won when they are allowed to define where a Jew can and cannot feel comfortable. To that I say, never again.
"Jewish students should go to NYU. I might even say it is our responsibility."
Moadeb is a Syrian-Lebanese, Mexican Jew who graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individual Study in May 2019.
In May, the same month that Moadeb graduated, at an NYU doctoral convocation ceremony, a doctoral graduate expressed his support for the BDS movement. NYU president Andrew Hamilton said in a statement that the graduate had omitted his comments about BDS in the version of the speech he submitted to the school for review before the ceremony.

Jerusalem Post Staff, Omri Nahmias and Maayan Hoffman contributed to this report.