Campus Monitor - Oberlin College

Student Voices

  • March 8, 2016 – Jewish Student (Unnamed) – “As a supporter of Israel, I no longer feel safe on this campus.” Read more
  • March 5, 2016 – Oberlin College Jewish Student (Sarah**pseudonym) – “[myh] issue with the response to anti-Semitism is that others feel as though they’re allowed to say what is and isn’t anti-Semitic. This isn’t right, and it should only be expressed by Jewish students.”
  • March 5, 2016 – Oberlin College Jewish Student (Jenny**pseudonym) – “[…it’s especially frustrating when fellow students dismiss [me] when [I] claim something is anti-Semitic.] People always say, ‘I’m being anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic. I have Jewish friends.” Read more
  • August 27, 2014 – Former Oberlin College Jewish Student (Anya F.H.) – “I was eager to join the Oberlin student body, which has a reputed passion for politics and social justice. It was exciting to meet so many people interested in social change and activism. After a few days on campus and many meetings, I began to see that words like “justice” and “oppression” were being used to bunch causes together into a jumble that a friend once called “the liberal checklist.” My fellow Obies and I were expected by our peers to join them in denouncing a plethora of social evils, including capitalism, racism, fracking, transphobia — and Israel. Student activists used strong words and bright visuals to paint the Israeli government and people as oppressive, Eurocentric and illegitimate. When some Jewish students brought up Jewish self-determination, Jews involved in Students for a Free Palestine declared that because they, too, were Jewish, it was wrong to disagree with them in the name of Judaism. One speaker drew laughs when she said that “Zionists should be burned at the stake.”…The toxic climate at Oberlin around Israel was one of the reasons why I transferred to the University of Pennsylvania this year.” Read more
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    Antisemitism Tracker

    Total Antisemitic Activity:

    To see more information on how AMCHA determines antisemitic activity, click HERE.
    To report a concern, click HERE.


    ClassificationDate-Description
    TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: HARASSMENT;
    HISTORICAL;
    DEMONIZATION
    3/6/16 – An anonymous, unsigned email was sent to many students on campus that utilized the classic antisemitic trope of “evil Jews” and demonized Israel saying, “Good Work to Oberlin College, to Professor Joy Karega & President Marvin Krislov!! The state of Israel, Zionist Jews are pure evil They did 9/11”.
    ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: DELEGITIMIZATION4/8/16 – A letter by a student in the student newspaper delegitimized Israel, accusing Israel of “participating in colonialism and apartheid.”
    DELEGITIMIZATION3/6/16 – In an op-ed written by Students for a Free Palestine entitled “Why We Must Use Apartheid to Describe the Israeli Occupation,” that appeared in an Oberlin College paper, Israel was falsely accused of numerous “crimes of apartheid.”
    DEMONIZATION;
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (BDS EVENT)
    3/1/16 – A lecture by Robin Kelley entitled “Fighting Apartheid Since 1948: Key Moments in Palestinian and Black Solidarity,” was sponsored by Students for a Free Palestine, Abusua, and the department of Africana studies. In his talk, Kelley falsely accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “brutal apartheid,” and a “land grab” from the Palestinians, and he promoted BDS, calling it “the purest form of free-market expression you could come up with.”
    HISTORICAL;
    DEMONIZATION
    2/25/16 – The Tower exposed the antisemitic Facebook postings of Oberlin Assistant Professor Joy Karega. These postings included claims that Israel and “Rothschild-led banksters” were behind 9/11, the Malaysian Airlines flight shot down over Ukraine, the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and ISIS. Karega also wrote underneath a classic antisemitic charicature of “Jacob Rothschild”: “Hello there, my name is Jacob Rothschild. My family is worth over 500 trillion dollars. We own nearly every central bank in the world. We financed both sides of every war since Napoleon. We own your news, the media, your oil, and your government.”
    DEMONIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BDS)
    1/20/16 – The Black Student Union sent a list of demands to the Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov that included “immediate divestment from Israel who [sic] has exploited many African descencant peoples seeking refuge.”
    DELEGITIMIZATION;
    BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BDS)
    5/8/15 – The Oberlin College Mellon Mays Undergraduate Followship classes of 2015 and 2016 issued an open letter in which they “vehemently condemn the apartheid state of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land and proudly endorse the Students for a Free Palestine’s divestment proposal.”
    HISTORICAL;
    DENYING JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION;
    DEMONIZATION
    4/26/15 – Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine hosted a talk by Abbas Hamideh, chair of Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition Cleveland Chapter. In his talk, Hamideh falsely accused Zionists of “ethnic cleansing” and called Zionism “a Jewish supremacy ideology” and “racist.” He also claimed that his and other Palestinians’ “main fight” was against Zionism, i.e. against the existence of the Jewish state.
    BDS ACTIVITY:BDS EVENT4/8/16 – Students for a Free Palestine held the event, “How to Organize for BDS and Against Anti-BDS Legislation.”
    CALLS FOR BDS5/6/15 – The Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine submitted a new anti-Israel divestment application to the Oberlin Investment Office.
    BDS EVENTS4/23/15 – Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine hosted a teach-in entitled “Environmental Nakba & Pinkwashing in Palestine,” that included a discussion of carrying out BDS campaigns.
    BDS EVENTS4/16/15 – Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine held a workshop promoting BDS entitled: “BDS Basics & Unpacking the Conflict.”
    CALLS FOR BDS3/9/15 – Members of Students for a Free Palestine gave out a pamphlet urging students to join the BDS movement at a display of rocks dumped in front of Mudd Library in protest of Israel’s imprisonment of a Palestinian activist.
    BDS EVENTS3/8/15 – Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine held a workshop promoting BDS.

     

    In the News ?

    August 3, 2016:
    AMCHA – Oberlin Alumni Association Email Regarding Anti-Semitic Activity of Professor Joy Karega

    August 3, 2016:
    Jewish Telegraphic Agency – Oberlin prof who posted anti-Semitic remarks put on paid leave, won’t teach this fall

    August 3, 2016:
    The New York Times – Oberlin Professor Accused of Anti-Semitic Remarks Is Placed on Paid Leave

    August 3, 2016:
    The Chronicle of Higher Education – Oberlin Professor Is Placed on Leave Over Anti-Semitic Social-Media Posts

    May 24, 2016:
    Tablet Mag – How Oberlin Has Repeatedly Failed to Confront Anti-Semitism on Campus

    May 24, 2016:
    The Tower – Report: Oberlin’s Problems with Anti-Semitism Go Back Further than Karega

    April 29, 2016:
    Tablet Mag – Resolution in Karega Case Requires Constructive Dialogue

    April 23, 2016:
    The Oberlin Review – College Fails to Address Antisemitism on Campus

    April 12, 2016:
    Inside Higher Ed – Condemning a Colleague
    (Description note, “The majority of the faculty of Oberlin College have signed a statement condemning anti-Semitic statements made by a colleague on social media, though a vocal minority have refused to lend their names. Meanwhile, it appears the college is formally looking into the conduct of Joy Karega, the assistant professor of rhetoric and composition in question. “Bigotry has no place on the Oberlin campus (or anywhere),” reads the statement, with 174 signatories across the arts and sciences. “It sullies the values of equality and mutual support that are embedded in our institutional DNA as the first coeducational college and the first to admit students of all races as a matter of policy.” When the posts came to light, reads the statement, “many of us on the Oberlin faculty initially thought it prudent to wait for our administration to come forward with a response grounded in careful deliberation and due process. It has now become clear that these complex discussions are going to take a while longer.” In light of the timeline, “as well as the profound, ongoing questions and concerns of our students, their families, our alums, prospective students, their families and the many people around the country who look to Oberlin, the time has finally come for us to go on record, and especially to reassure our students.”)

    April 12, 2016:
    Jewish Telegraphic Agency – 174 Oberlin profs sign letter condemning colleague’s anti-Semitic post

    April 12, 2016:
    The Oberlin Review – Oberlin College campus divided regarding professor’s anti-Semitic statements

    April 8, 2016:
    The Oberlin Review – Tourist Experience of Israel Doesn’t Show Whole Picture
    (Description note – a student publishes, ” The fact that life for white, Jewish and otherwise normative persons in Israel can be so satisfying does not disprove the claim that Israel is participating in colonialism and apartheid — in fact, when compared with the daily turmoil faced by the average Palestinian, it does just the opposite.”)

    April 8, 2016:
    The Oberlin Review – Weekend of Action to Address BDS, Eco-Issues
    (Description note, “The student groups coordinating this year’s workshop series include Students for a Free Palestine, the Responsible Investment Organization, Real Food Oberlin, Students for Energy Justice, Obies for Undocumented Inclusion and Oberlin Students in Solidarity with El Salvador. The weekend will kick off with a workshop led by Students for a Free Palestine, “How to Organize for BDS and Against Anti-BDS Legislation,” held today at 5 p.m. SFP aims to examine Boycott,Divestment and Sanctions as a political organizational strategy and discuss methods for overcoming its potential challenges.”)

    April 8, 2016:
    The Tower – New Controversy Swirls at Oberlin Around Appointment of Interim Dean of Students

    April 4, 2016:
    The Daily Beast – Why Are Oberlin’s Students So Silent About Anti-Semitism?

    April 1, 2016:
    The Oberlin Review – Alumnus Challenges Board to Acknowledge Black Birthright
    (Description note, “Resolved: The interests and policies of the State of Israel compromise the democratic birthright of Black Americans…The economic and civic well-being of Black Americans for over two generations has been bound up with the U.S.-Israel relationship. No group of Americans is as dependent on the realization of the goals of our Constitution as declared in its Preamble as Black Americans, and no nation is as dedicated to bending the goals of our Constitution to its own ends as is the State of Israel.”)

    March 20, 2016:
    Cleveland.com – Oberlin College professor’s anti-Semitic Facebook posts are protected by the First Amendment, but vile: Abraham H. Miller (Opinion)

    March 15, 2016:
    Tablet – The Real Scandal at Oberlin Is Much Bigger Than One Professor’s Anti-Semitism

    March 13, 2016:
    Forward – I Won’t Send My Students to Oberlin College Anymore

    March 11, 2016:
    The Oberlin Review – Professor’s Alleged Anti-Semitism Gains Local, National Traction

    March 10, 2016:
    The Tower – Academic Watchdog Backs Oberlin’s Censure of Professor’s Anti-Semitic Posts

    March 8, 2016:
    The Washington Post – Oberlin’s board chair says it’s time for quick action against anti-Semitic words

    March 8, 2016:
    The Times of Israel – Oberlin told to probe teacher’s ‘anti-Semitic’ posts

    March 8, 2016:
    The Tower – Karega’s Not Alone: Email Sent to Oberlin Students Blames 9/11 on ‘Zionist Jews’
    (Description note, “An anonymous e-mail sent to a large number of Oberlin College students on Sunday accused Israel and “Zionist Jews” of responsibility for the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. The emails came amid mounting controversy over the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of Joy Karega, an Oberlin professor whose Facebook posts were first exposed by The Tower two weeks ago. Karega had also accused Israel of being behind 9/11; she also alleged that Israel created ISIS and promoted the belief that the Rothschild family controls “your news, the media, your oil, and your government.”)

    March 7, 2016:
    Tablet Magazine – In Academe, Shouldn’t Blatant and Repeated Anti-Semitism Be a Fireable Offense?

    March 6, 2016:
    The Chronicle-Telegram – In Academe, Shouldn’t Blatant and Repeated Anti-Semitism Be a Fireable Offense?

    March 5, 2016:
    Oberlin News Center – Statement from Board Chair Clyde McGregor on anti-Semitic social media posts
    (Description note, “These postings are anti-Semitic and abhorrent. We deplore anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry. They have no place at Oberlin.These grave issues must be considered expeditiously.”)

    March 4, 2016:
    The Tower – In New Statement, Oberlin President Falls Short of Condemning Anti-Semitic Conspiracist

    March 3, 2016:
    Haaretz – Alumni, Act Now to Purge Oberlin and Others of anti-Semitism

    March 2, 2016:
    New York Post – Professor says Jews are behind 9/11 attacks and she’s keeping her job

    March 1, 2016:
    Legal Insurrection – Oberlin anti-Semitic rant Prof hosting BDS event this week

    March 1, 2016:
    The Algemeiner – Oberlin Alumni Outraged Over Administration’s ‘Tepid Response’ to Antisemitism at Alma Mater

    February 29, 2016:
    San Diego Jewish World – Oberlin prof. pushes anti- Semitic conspiracy theories

    February 26, 2016:
    Forward – Oberlin President Defends Professor in Anti-Semitic Facebook Rant

    February 26, 2016:
    The Investigative Project on Terrorism – Oberlin Professor’s Anti-Semitic Rhetoric Part of a Campus Trend

    February 26, 2016:
    The Tower – Oberlin Gives Hesitant Response as Controversy Mounts Over Anti-Semitism, 9/11 Trutherism
    (Description note, “The response, which disassociated Oberlin from Karega’s postings, failed to address the offensiveness of her conspiracies, prompting Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz to tell The Tower, “If Karega had expressed comparably bigoted views about Blacks, Muslims or gays, the President of Oberlin would not have posted the boilerplate he posted. He would have condemned those views, even if he defended her right to express them.”)

    February 25, 2016:
    The Tower – Oberlin Professor Claims Israel Was Behind 9/11, ISIS, Charlie Hebdo Attack

    January 5, 2016:
    News Wire- Anti-Semitism at Oberlin: an Open Letter of Concern From Alumni and Friends

    October 30, 2015:
    The Oberlin Review – Board Rejects Student Divestment Proposals
    (Description note, “”The Board of Trustees told Oberlin Fossil Fuel Divestment and Students for a Free Palestine that it will not implement their proposals to reduce or halt College investments in controversial companies…While the Fossil Fuel Divestment group was comforted that their targeted companies were not currently receiving College money, SFP was not given the same reassurance. SFP’s proposed divestments were not passed because they failed to provide proof that the student body was united on the issue, according to Wyatt Kroopf, SFP spokesperson and College senior.”)

    June 19, 2015: Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine posts the message on the organizations Facebook page, “End white supremacy, racism, and zionism everywhere and in all its forms.”.

    May 13, 2015: Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine posts the message on the organizations Facebook page, “We are proud to announce that SIX cooperatives chose to support SFP’s Divestment proposal! That makes over 30 student organizations who have stood up against institutional support of a violent apartheid state. A huge thank you to Peter Schalch on the OSCA Board for helping make this a reality! And of course, thank you to the members of Harkness, Fairchild, Brown Bag, Third World, Tank, and Old B for being rockstars”

    May 12, 2015: Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine posts the message on the organizations Facebook page, “Looks like tomorrow is  #‎HummusDay! Remember: DON’T DIP INTO APARTHEID! Boycott Sabra and Tribe hummus! Spread the word. #‎BDS”

    May 8, 2015: The Oberlin Review – Mellon Mays Fellows Support SFP Divestment (Description note, “This past winter, Students for a Free Palestine submitted a divestment proposal to the Board of Trustees, which is currently being considered. The Oberlin College MMUF cohort calls upon the student organizations at Oberlin College, other MMUF cohorts and beyond to endorse the labor that Students for a Free Palestine have put into ensuring that our institution lives up to its legacy of social justice.”)

    May 3, 2015: Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine posts the message on the organizations Facebook page, “Israel, like the US, is a white supremacist state.

    May 1, 2015: The Oberlin Review – Off the Cuff: Gabe Schivone, co-coordinator of UNIDOS youth group and volunteer at No Más Muertes/No More Deaths (Description note, “In your talk you compare the U.S.-Mexico border to the Gaza Strip. How are they similar? Well, I won’t be comparing so much as giving more material analysis about [them]. They both are funded by the United States government. There are a number of deeply integrated military technology systems and strategies, and so the material reality is so interconnected — for example, the proliferation of Israeli military security technology firms.”)

    April 29, 2015: EVENT – SFP holds the event, “Branding Israel: Greenwashing” whose description reads, “Amanda Rose, an OC and SFP alum, will give a presentation on Israel’s colonization of Palestine, detailing how Israel destroys the ecology of Palestinian land and denies Palestinians access to parks and agricultural land while portraying itself as a “Green Country.””

    April 26, 2015: SFP holds the event, “Remembering Al-Nakba with Abbas Hamideh.” A supporter posts on the events Facebook page a video explaining, “Abbas Hamideh describes the Free Palestine movement as a struggle against Zionism.”

    April 23, 2015: SFP holds the event, “Environmental Nakba & Pinkwashing in Palestine **DRAG BALL VOUCHER EXCHANGE**” whose description reads, “This teach-in will cover green- and pink-washing, two trends in which Israel (and the US) use environmentally-friendly and gay-friendly campaigns to mask the violence of the occupation…We are also hosting a teach-in about the history of the Palestine/Israel conflict with an introduction to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.”

    April 16, 2015: SFP holds the event, “BDS Basics & Unpacking the Conflict: An SFP Teach-In” 

    March 13, 2015: The Oberlin Review – Feature Photo: SFP Protests Lina Khattab’s Conviction (Description note, “Members of Students for a Free Palestine Kaela Sanborn-Hum, College senior, and College sophomore Kai Shinbrough prepare an exhibit in Mudd library on Monday protesting the imprisonment of Lina Khattab, an 18-year-old journalism student, activist and Palestinian who was arrested while attending a protest outside the Israeli Ofer Prison in the West Bank. On Monday, members of SFP rolled a wheelbarrow full of rocks into Mudd library — an action which inspired one onlooker to call Safety and Security — and, with the permission of the library, assembled a pile of rocks representing Khattab’s charges near the first floor entrance. A sign above the rocks and a pile of pamphlets described the purpose of the exhibition.”)

    February 18, 2015: OBERLIN SFP TWEET – “Ohio is infested with Zionism. Right wing Christian zealots and timid liberals makes a bad combo.” -@Ghassandwich #UTDivest

    February 6, 2015: The Oberlin Review – SFP Expresses Solidarity with Dismissed UIUC Professor Salaita (Description note – Open letter by Students for a Free Palestine, “It demonstrates the power of Zionist hegemony in silencing dissenting opinions, especially when they are voiced by members of aggrieved communities in ways that expressly reject the normative codes of white liberal discourse.”)

    October 3, 2014: The Oberlin Review – SFP on Anti-Semitism, Complicity and Action

    October 3, 2014: The Oberlin Review – FASA Stands in Solidarity with Palestinians

    September 26, 2014: The Oberlin Review – SFP Plants Flags in ‘Call to Action’ (Description note – Event was held on Rosh Hashana, and a member claims, ““The Day of Action [has] provocative timing,” said College senior and Students for a Free Palestine member Jacob Ertel. “I think that the mourning of Palestinian deaths and the condemnation of Israeli genocide against Palestinians and a religious holiday are not mutually exclusive occurrences. We don’t have to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and not be appalled and continue to condemn Israeli acts of violence and war crimes. … We don’t have to see them as conflicting in any way.”)

    January 6, 2014: UNIVERSITY STATEMENT – Statement on Academic Boycotts

    May 5, 2013: Electronic Intifada – Student senate passes a divestment resolution.

     

    Photo Album - Campus Antisemitism

    Source Credit:  (August 3, 2016)

    Source Credit: Oberlin Alumni Association Email Regarding Anti-Semitic Activity of Professor Joy Karena (August 3, 2016)


    Source Credit:  (March 2-7, 2016)

    Source Credit: Flier for Event: Key Moments in Palestinian and Black Solidarity (March 2-7, 2016)


    Source Credit: This flier, which was purportedly pinned to a bulletin board in Oberlin College student union during the 2013-14 academic year, was part of a massive racism hoax intended to evoke a reaction from the students. The photo has been cropped to omit a racial epithet. (January 16, 2016)

    Source Credit: This flier, which was purportedly pinned to a bulletin board in Oberlin College student union during the 2013-14 academic year, was part of a massive racism hoax intended to evoke a reaction from the students. The photo has been cropped to omit a racial epithet. (January 16, 2016)


    To report antisemitic activity at this or any other campus, you may:

    BDS Tracker

     

    January 2015: SFP submitted a divestment proposal to the Board of Trustees.

    May 5, 2013: Passed – Student Senate passed a divestment resolution. 


    BDS Instigators: Student & Faculty

    STUDENT BDS

    Student Group(s) Promoting BDS: 2
    Students for A Free Palestine
    Oberlin Divest

    FACULTY BDS

    Number of Faculty Endorsing the Academic Boycott of Israel: 2

    1. Angus Chen
    2. Frances Hasso

     


    AMCHA Activism

    There are currently no AMCHA Initiative campaigns for this campus.