Oberlin College Must Now Foot the Bill for Its Feckless Political Radicalism

In 2016, an African-American student at Oberlin College was caught attempting to steal two bottles of wine from Gibson’s Bakery—a local family business founded in 1885—and fled. When the shopkeeper pursued him, the student and two friends, also black, assaulted him, beating him badly. College administrators then joined students in accusing the bakery of “racial profiling.” Christine Rosen writes:

[The] simple shoplifting incident prompted the Black Student Union, College Democrats, and the student senate to launch a protest and boycott outside the store. . . . At the protest, students hurled expletives at customers, entered the store, and waved signs saying, “End Racial Profiling.” And not only students; Oberlin’s dean of students, Meredith Raimondo, attended the protest and passed out leaflets that read, in part: “This is a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION.”

The school did briefly stop doing business with Gibson’s. . . . Oberlin officials even suggested to local businesses that if students were caught shoplifting in the future, the school should be called, not the police, so that the thieves could be given one free pass for their actions.

In 2017, after taking a significant hit to their profits because of the protests, Gibson’s decided to hold Oberlin and its officials accountable for their kowtowing to student protestors. The bakery filed a civil lawsuit against the school (including Raimondo) for “libel, slander, interference with business relationships, interference with contracts, deceptive trade practices, infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, and trespass.” This week, a jury agreed with the bakery’s claim that the school and its officials had acted irresponsibly and awarded Gibson’s $11 million in damages. . . .

During the trial, Gibson’s lawyer argued, “When a powerful institution says you’re racist, you’re doomed.” As anyone who has witnessed the mob mentality among campus progressive activists can attest, student mobs only thrive because administrators allow them to do so. With their courtroom victory in Ohio this week, the Gibson family put college officials across the country on notice that people unfairly victimized and libeled by campus activists are done acquiescing to the mob’s demands.

Recall that in 2016, when Joy Karega-Mason, an Oberlin professor, was revealed regularly to have posted on her Facebook page anti-Semitic cartoons and conspiracy theories of the most lurid kind, the school’s administration was reluctant to take action, and administrators like Meredith Raimondo rushed to her defense.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Social Justice, University


An Israeli Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip Doesn’t Violate International Law

 The IDF announced on Thursday that it is safe for residents to return to some of the towns and villages near the Gaza Strip that have been abandoned since October 7. Yet on the same day, rocket sirens sounded in one of those communities, Kibbutz Mefalsim. To help ensure security in the area, Israel is considering the creation of a buffer zone within the Strip that would be closed to Palestinian civilians and buildings. The U.S. has indicated, however, that it would not look favorably on such a step.

Avraham Shalev explains why it’s necessary:

The creation of a security buffer along the Gaza-Israel border serves the purpose of destroying Hamas’s infrastructure and eliminating the threat to Israel. . . . Some Palestinian structures are practically on the border, and only several hundred yards away from Israeli communities such as Kfar Aza, Kerem Shalom, and Sderot. The Palestinian terrorists that carried out the murderous October 7 attacks crossed into Israel from many of these border-adjacent areas. Hamas officials have already vowed that “we will do this again and again. The al-Aqsa Flood [the October 7th massacre] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.”

In 2018 and 2019, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized mass marches towards the Israeli border with the goal of breaking into Israel. Billed by Palestinians as “the Great March of Return,” its name reveals its purpose—invasion. Although the marches were supposedly non-violent, they featured largescale attacks on Israeli forces as well as arson and damage to Israeli agriculture and civilian communities. Moreover, the October 7 massacre was made possible by Hamas’s prepositioning military hardware along the border under false cover of civilian activity. The security perimeter is intended to prevent a reprise of these events.

Shalev goes on to dismantle the arguments put forth about why international law prohibits Israel from creating the buffer zone. He notes:

By way of comparison, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, France occupied the Saar [River Valley] directly until 1947 and then indirectly until reintegration with Germany in 1957, and the Allied occupation of Berlin continued until the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Allies maintained their occupation long after the fall of the Nazi regime, due to the threat of Soviet invasion and conquest of West Berlin, and by extension Western Europe.

Read more at Kohelet

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, International Law, Israeli Security