Anti-Semitism Rears Its Head at Oberlin

According to Joy Karega-Mason, assistant professor of rhetoric and composition at Oberlin College, a group of “Rothschild-led banksters [sic]” were responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks; the slaughter at the offices of Charlie Hebdo was carried out by the Mossad; and Jews and Zionists have controlled every American president. These and similar statements filling Karega-Mason’s Facebook page recently came to the attention of Oberlin students and faculty as well as the public at large. So far, the college president and other administrators have alternated tepid condemnations with expressions of fealty to the principle of academic freedom. Abraham Socher, an Oberlin faculty colleague, comments:

I do not contest Professor Karega-Mason’s right to say whatever she wants on Facebook or anywhere else. . . . But anyone who is tempted to think that what she has said was not anti-Semitic or can be creatively contextualized away ought to think about what would constitute anti-Semitic speech, and whether they would apply such alibis or restrictive, ahistorical definitions to any other form of hate speech. Perhaps a simpler way to put it is this: [a graphic posted by Karega-Mason] seems to have originated on neo-Nazi websites. Did it somehow become less repellent when Professor Karega-Mason posted it on her Facebook page? And, if so, why? . . .

In my sixteen years at Oberlin College, I have never publicly criticized a colleague. But it seems to me that to look quickly away from Professor Karega-Mason’s posts without explaining exactly what is wrong with them would be to confirm that Oberlin College is indifferent to—or at least very squeamish about [recognizing]—anti-Semitism.

Read more at Oberlin Review

More about: Anti-Semitism, Facebook, Israel & Zionism, Israel on campus, Rothschilds, University


The ICJ’s Vice-President Explains What’s Wrong with Its Recent Ruling against Israel

It should be obvious to anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of the Gaza war that Israel is not committing genocide there, or anything even remotely akin to it. In response to such spurious accusations, it’s often best to focus on the mockery they make of international law itself, or on how Israel can most effectively combat them. Still, it is also worth stopping to consider the legal case on its own terms. No one has done this quite so effectively, to my knowledge, as the Ugandan jurist Julia Sebutinde, who is the vice-president of the ICJ and the only one of its judges to rule unequivocally in Israel’s favor both in this case and in the previous one where it found accusations of genocide “plausible.”

Sebutinde begins by questioning the appropriateness of the court ruling on this issue at all:

Once again, South Africa has invited the Court to micromanage the conduct of hostilities between Israel and Hamas. Such hostilities are exclusively governed by the laws of war (international humanitarian law) and international human-rights law, areas where the Court lacks jurisdiction in this case.

The Court should also avoid trying to enforce its own orders. . . . Is the Court going to reaffirm its earlier provisional measures every time a party runs to it with allegations of a breach of its provisional measures? I should think not.

Sebutinde also emphasizes the absurdity of hearing this case after Israel has taken “multiple concrete actions” to alleviate the suffering of Gazan civilians since the ICJ’s last ruling. In fact, she points out, “the evidence actually shows a gradual improvement in the humanitarian situation in Gaza since the Court’s order.” She brings much evidence in support of these points.

She concludes her dissent by highlighting the procedural irregularities of the case, including a complete failure to respect the basic rights of the accused:

I find it necessary to note my serious concerns regarding the manner in which South Africa’s request and incidental oral hearings were managed by the Court, resulting in Israel not having sufficient time to file its written observations on the request. In my view, the Court should have consented to Israel’s request to postpone the oral hearings to the following week to allow for Israel to have sufficient time to fully respond to South Africa’s request and engage counsel. Regrettably, as a result of the exceptionally abbreviated timeframe for the hearings, Israel could not be represented by its chosen counsel, who were unavailable on the dates scheduled by the Court.

It is also regrettable that Israel was required to respond to a question posed by a member of the Court over the Jewish Sabbath. The Court’s decisions in this respect bear upon the procedural equality between the parties and the good administration of justice by the Court.

Read more at International Court of Justice

More about: Gaza War 2023, ICC, International Law