Religion

Professor In Hot Water Over Anti-Semitic Posts

| by Nik Bonopartis
Oberlin CollegeOberlin College

Oberlin College's trustees denounced a professor's social media posts as “anti-Semitic and abhorrent” for claiming Jews were behind 9/11 and the attack on France's Charlie Hebdo magazine.

The posts by Joy Karega, a nontenured professor teaching "social justice writing courses" at Ohio's Oberlin, flew under the radar until they were screencapped and reported in an article on The Tower, a pro-Israel magazine.

Karega has since closed her Facebook account to the public, but screenshots show a long list of posts in which she claims Israel's Mossad intelligence agency is behind terror attacks, rails against the Rothschild banking family, and repeats conspiracy theories involving the 9/11 attacks.

"ISIS was created by the CIA and [Israeli intelligence agency] Mossad so that 'Israeli and Zionist Jews' could carry out the 9/11 terror attacks," one of Karega's posts reads, the New York Post reported.

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Initially, an Oberlin spokesman said the college "respects the rights of its faculty, students, staff, and alumni to express their personal views," reports The Tower, and said Karega's posts don't represent the views of the school.

But since late February, as the story has made the rounds and has been shared on social media, Oberlin officials found themselves under pressure to respond more forcefully to Karega's posts. Now, the college's board of trustees wants college officials to conduct a review of Karega's online posts, and recommend possible discipline against the teacher, according to The New York Times.

"These postings are anti-Semitic and abhorrent," Clyde S. McGregor, the board chairman, said in a statement. "We deplore anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry. They have no place at Oberlin."

Krislov, who is Jewish and said some of his family members are Holocaust survivors, met with members of the local Jewish community in Oberlin, Ohio.

“In a welcoming atmosphere, we discussed, openly and candidly, the potential implications of a professor’s personal views on classroom activity and student intimidation,” Krislov wrote in a statement. “We also discussed our shared respect for academic freedom.”

Karega did not respond to requests for comment from media organizations including The New York Times and Business Insider, but in another Facebook post she said she will remain silent for a time on the advice of her lawyer.

She also accused her critics of racism, suggesting she's being attacked as a black woman speaking out about Israel.

"These recent activities in my own professional life have handed me a LARGE body of data (emails, voicemail messages, tweets, Facebook inbox messages, etc.) that will shed light on and provide insight into how and to what extent anti-Blackness rhetorics show up in antisemitic call-out culture and practices," Karega wrote.

Sources: The New York Times, Business Insider, The Tower / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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