Professor at Ohio college dismissed after antisemitic Facebook posts

The Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition had been placed on paid leave in August and on Tuesday the college's board of trustees announced their vote to dismiss Kraega.

November 16, 2016 11:17
1 minute read.
Bosworth Hall at Oberlin College

Bosworth Hall at Oberlin College . (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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Oberlin College Professor Joy D. Karega, who came under fire earlier in 2016 for antisemitic Facebook posts, has been dismissed from the college, the Cleveland Jewish News reported Wednesday.

Karega had made comments accusing Israel and “Rothschild-led bankers” of responsibility for downing a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine in 2014. She also posted a graphic of Jacob Rothschild, a member of the prominent Jewish banking family, with a caption reading: “We own your news. The media. Your oil. And your government.”

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In other posts Karega had claimed that the CIA and the Mossad were behind Islamic state and that ISIS was not “a jihadist, Islamic terrorist organization,” according to The Washington Post.

The Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition had been placed on paid leave in August and on Tuesday the college's board of trustees announced their vote to dismiss Kraega, a decision that was effective immediately. 

The school released a statement explaining, “In the face of Dr. Karega’s repeated refusal to acknowledge and remedy her misconduct, her continued presence undermines the mission and values of Oberlin’s academic community. Thus, any sanction short of dismissal is insufficient and the Board of Trustees is compelled to take this most serious action.”

Oberlin originally defended Karega in the name of free speech, posting on their alumni Facebook page, "The statements posted on social media by Dr. Joy Karega, assistant professor of rhetoric and composition, are hers alone and do not represent the views of Oberlin College."

Oberlin has drawn attention in recent months for what some alumni claim is a culture of tolerance for antisemitism. More than 250 alumni have signed an open letter to college President MarvinKrislov voicing concern about this and mentioning several incidents at the school, including the expulsion of the Kosher Halal co-op from the Oberlin Student Cooperation Association and a protest against Israel on Rosh Hashanah that Jewish students had to pass through on their way to holiday services.

The school also garnered headlines in December when African-American student activists issued a 14-page list of demands to Krislov, including that the school divest from companies doing business with Israel.

In September Krislov announced that he was stepping down after the 2016-2017 school year.

JTA contributed to this report.

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