University of Leeds settles anti-Semitism lawsuit with graduate

The University of Leeds in the UK has settled a lawsuit for an unknown amount alleging that several professors deliberately failed a Jewish sociology student for a paper that did not blame Israel for Hamas crimes against the Palestinians.

The decision prevented college student Danielle Greyman from completing an undergraduate degree in sociology and pursuing a master’s degree.

Their submitted paper argued that Hamas’s administration of Gaza had harassed Palestinians.

Greyman claimed that her assistants, despite confirming the topic and scope of the essay with the course professor and tutor, gave the assignment a low grade of 35, followed by a “fail” for the course.

Following a successful internal appeal, Greyman was awarded a 2:1 BA with honours, but the student has claimed that the time spent on the appeal and confirmation of her degree at Leeds was too late for her to to pursue a masters degree at the University of Glasgow.

“If the university had just apologized from the start, corrected the flag, and provided staff with anti-Semitism training, I would have been very happy,” Greyman said. “Instead, they didn’t confirm I was eligible for the degree until it was too late and made me wait six months before hearing my appeal and then another six months for reevaluation.”

“This has been a long and arduous process, but it is necessary for large institutions to know they will be held accountable,” Greyman added.

The student’s lawyer, Jonathan Turner of UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), said: “We are very pleased with the agreement and hope it will serve as a warning to universities and academics not to let anti-Israel bias influence their grading, which is what is in is so prevalent in academia.”

The University of Leeds has denied blame, insisting an internal review of the incident cleared the professors “of any wrongdoing” and that it included the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

“The listing of this claim in the Small Claims Court was surprising and unexpected,” a spokesman said. “As a consequence and on the commercial direction of our insurers, the university submitted an offer without acknowledgment of liability, which was accepted by the plaintiff. This offer is expressly made on the basis that the University accepts no liability or accept that any damage has occurred to the applicant.”

In a statement published on the UK Lawyers for Israel website, Greyman said: “I am grateful for the support that has been provided by UKLFI and the wider Jewish community and I hope this encourages other students to take action against institutions who do not live up to their responsibilities ensuring academic freedom and fair grading.”


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