The Oberlin Review

Trump Abandons Precedent in Israel, Endangers Citizens

Marah Ajilat, Contributing Writer

December 8, 2017

All Americans, Jewish or otherwise, should oppose Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The truth is, Trump is only invested in Jews because he thinks the holy city of Jerusalem is his ticket to a second presidential term. It should come as no surprise that Trump only seeks to serve himself and his self-interest. He banned Muslims from seven countries from entering the U.S., claiming fear of terrorism, but did not include Saudi Arabia, the country where some 9/11 hijackers were citizens, on that list, because he did not want to compromise his business relations with Saudi Arabia — from whom he had a received a $100-million check months before. Similarly, Trump and the American Israel P...

Hala Alyan, Author

Hala Alyan, Author

November 17, 2017

Hala Alyan is a Palestinian-American author, poet, and clinical psychologist, whose work centers around questions of place, identity, and voice, particularly within the Palestinian diaspora. Alyan was born in Carbondale, IL, and has lived around the world in Kuwait, Lebanon, various parts of the U.S. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the American University of Beirut and Columbia University respectively, and then went on to earn a doctorate in clinical psychology from Rutgers Uni...

Palestinian Activist Calls For Student Engagement

Palestinian Activist Calls For Student Engagement

November 10, 2017

Palestinian activist Nasser Nawaj’ah came to Oberlin Wednesday to share his personal experiences with students and educate them on the demolition of villages in the occupied West Bank. His visit was sponsored by J Street U, an organization that is active at at least 70 campuses nationwide. Oberlin was one of two schools chosen to host Nawaj’ah. Nawaj’ah was born in the small village of Susya, Palestine, which has been wrecked seven times since 1985 and is currently being demolished. Families...

Rosenfeld Anti-Semitism Lecture Unproductive, Misinformative

Josh Koller, Contributing Writer

November 4, 2016

I’ve been taught to honor, admire and respect educators across the board, but due to Dr. Alvin H. Rosenfeld’s propensity for denying facts and vilifying groups of people, I feel that I cannot extend him the usual respect. Dr. Rosenfeld, professor of Jewish Studies and English at Indiana University, Bloomington, came to campus Monday to lecture on contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism, which had the potential to be productive, informative and important. Regretfully, the lecture did not address the nuances of anti-Semitism but instead perpetuated hateful, vilifying, racist sentiments and accusations. Dr. Rosenfeld made many assertions that were not only highly offensive but blatantly false. The first of Dr. Rosenfe...

Tourist Experience of Israel Doesn’t Show Whole Picture

K.S., College junior

April 8, 2016

Editor’s note: This letter references a letter to the editor from David D. Gladfelter, OC ’58, published April 1. To the Editors: To those alumni no longer on campus who refuse to consider claims that the State of Israel participates in colonialist behavior, who out-of-hand reject Israel’s responsibility for a form of apartheid, I too would ask, in the words of the fictional character Baron Munchausen, “Vas you dere, Sharlie?” I do not mean to ask if you were there to experience the majesty of the Hula Valley, the history of the old city of Jerusalem, or the kibbutzniks warmly welcoming you to the Negev, nor do I mean to ask how much delicious shawarma and falafel you enjoyed. What I mean to ask is wheth...

Complex Relationship between Israel, Palestine Best Explored in Person

David D. Gladfelter, OC '58

April 1, 2016

To the Editors: To those on campus today who portray Israel as a colonial state responsible for genocide, I would ask, in the words of my late professor and fellow Francophile, Lawrence Wilson, [referencing the character Baron Munchausen], “Vas you dere, Sharlie?” My wife and I have been there, although only as visitors. To experience Israel, one may travel in time from the ancient excavations at Megiddo to the research centers at Tel Aviv and geographically from Akko in the north to Eilat in the south. One may see fish and wildlife thriving in reclaimed wetlands at the Hula Valley nature reserve in the upper Galilee; one may stroll through the narrow streets of the old city of Jerusalem, enjoy the night li...

Feature Photo: Anti-Oppression Symposium

Feature Photo: Anti-Oppression Symposium

March 11, 2016

Students gathered in the King Building Thursday evening for a teach-in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict hosted by Students for a Free Palestine. Titled “Palestine 101,” the educational forum featured talks by double-degree first-year Alexandra Smith, College sophomore Christopher Kennedy and College first-year Nicholas Kattoura. This event was a part of the Anti-Oppression Symposium, a month-long series of panels, discussions and workshops designed to amplify marginalized voices and educate...

Professor’s Alleged Anti-Semitism Gains Local, National Traction

Sydney Allen and Jake Berstein

March 11, 2016

After an Oberlin professor was accused of posting anti-Semitic messages to Facebook, the College has once again become the subject of national controversy. Outside opinions seeped into the campus community Sunday, when an anonymous individual sent an inflammatory, anti-Semitic email to around 500 students with the subject line reading, “ISRAEL DID 9/11.” The email included a variety of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories with seditious implications. Eric Estes, Oberlin’s vice president and dean of students, sent a follow-up email the same day alerting students to the spam. In his response, Estes referred to the email as “deeply offensive” and directed students toward the appropriate channels for reporting future...

Karega-Mason’s Facebook Posts Anti-Semitic

Abraham Socher, Associate Professor of Religion and Director of Jewish Studies

March 4, 2016

As a Jew, a historian of Judaism and a faculty member, I was outraged when I read David Gertsman’s story in The Tower, “Oberlin Professor Claims Israel Was Behind 9/11, ISIS, Charlie Hebdo Attack” (Feb. 25), which provided screenshots of several of Professor of Rhetoric and Composition Joy Karega-Mason’s Facebook posts. In those posts, Professor Karega-Mason claims, among other things, that Israel and super rich “Rothschild-led banksters” were behind 9/11, the Malaysian Airlines flight shot down over Ukraine, the Charlie Hebdo attacks and, in fact, all of ISIS. The first thing to say is that these were posts for her friends, not lectures to her students, and, no doubt, she intended for them to stay that way. But that...

Students, Alumni Demand Response to Alleged Anti-Semitism

Jake Berstein, Staff Writer

February 5, 2016

The Oberlin Alumni and Students Against Anti-Semitism sent an open letter to President Marvin Krislov on Jan. 3 concerning reports of anti-Semitism on campus and demanding specific action from the administration. Their letter prompted responses from Oberlin’s Students for a Free Palestine and Palestine Legal, a national organization that provides legal advice and support to students, activists and communities advocating for Palestinian freedom. The open letter accused the Boycott, Divest from and Sanction Israel movement and SFP of “falsely portraying Israel as an illegitimate, colonialist and murderous regime.” It went on to claim that the primary goal of these organizations was to “demonize the Jewish state.”...

Off the Cuff: David Makovsky, Washington Institute Fellow

Off the Cuff: David Makovsky, Washington Institute Fellow

November 6, 2015

David Makovsky is the Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute, a foreign policy thinktank. He worked as the senior advisor on Secretary of State John Kerry’s Israel-Palestine peace team from 2013–2014 and has written extensively about conflict in the Middle East. Makovsky is also an adjunct professor of Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. The Review sat down with Makovsky before he gave a talk titled “Se...

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