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Ramapo College Launches Investigation Into Professor’s Posts on Israel-Hamas Conflict

Ramapo College said it is investigating a professor’s posts on Facebook regarding the Israel-Hamas war that caused controversy after an outside group posted them on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, accusing her of antisemitism.

Renata Gangemi, a faculty member in the digital filmmaking department, allegedly posted a cartoon on her public Facebook page, along with other posts denouncing Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. Gangemi did not respond to requests for comment.

“Imagine being a Jewish student of Gangemi’s?” the group, Stopantisemitism.org, tweeted, along with screenshots of a cartoon featuring a baby under a cleaver held by a hand wearing the Israeli and U.S flags on its sleeve.

Ramapo’s affirmative action and equal employment opportunity office is handling the investigation in accordance with university procedure, a spokesperson for the college said in a statement Tuesday.

The investigation is looking into possible discrimination or harassment, based on New Jersey’s state policy prohibiting discrimination in the workplace.

The university did not immediately respond to a question about how the policy might be enforced in this situation, but pointed out that a section of the state’s anti-discrimination and harassment policy “also applies to posts on any social media site and/or electronic device, personal or business, that adversely affects the work environment defined by the state policy.”

“The state policy is deployed when there are reports of suspected forms of discrimination or harassment based upon one or more of the protected categories listed” in the policy, the college said.

Race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, religion and ancestry are among several protected categories mentioned in the state’s policy. Investigations are confidential, and employers are required to pursue corrective or remedial actions whenever an investigation concludes there was a violation, according to language in the zero tolerance policy.

Ramapo College is publicly funded and receives an appropriation in the state budget. It enrolled about 4,900 undergraduates in 2022, according to U.S. News & World Report.