Marzec’s Declarations to Support Palestine Full of Contradictions
By Eric Rozenman, a 1969 graduate of Ohio University and a former staffer at The Post. He is the Washington Director for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
Please allow me to add my comments to those already published on the clash between Student Senate President Megan Marzec and her “Free Palestine” supporters and Bobcats for Israel. I do so as a long-ago Student Congress representative and former Post staffer and in my current capacity as Washington director of CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
According to reports by The Post and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Ms. Marzec, in her role as OU Student Senate President, hijacked the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to produce a narcissistic “blood bucket” video in support of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. She also is quoted as declaring, after her confrontation with Bobcats for Israel, four of whom were arrested by campus police, that she would “never apologize for standing up for the people of Palestine” and “I will never stand up for fascists.” Ms. Marzec apparently doesn’t recognize the contradictions.
The BDS movement does not advocate Arab-Israeli peace or a two-state Israel-Palestine compromise. Though none of the 22 Arab states are Western-style democracies and bloody upheavals in many of them currently have taken literally hundreds of thousands of lives in Arab-against-Arab, Muslim-against-Muslim and Muslim-against-Christian violence, BDSers obsessively seek the delegitimization and destruction of the one Jewish state. That country is rated by Freedom House as the Middle East’s most free for its treatment of Jewish, Muslim and
Christian citizens alike. The polite word for the BDS, anti-Israel obsession is hypocritical.
Ms. Marzec also imagines she is “standing up for the people of Palestine,” assuming she means the Arabs of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The former are used as human shields and otherwise oppressed by Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, Israel, Canada, Australia, Japan and other nations and last seen murdering dissidents it labeled “collaborators” in the streets. The latter are under the thumb of Fatah, a kleptocracy that doesn’t usually murder critics; it more commonly beats and jails them. So in bravely “standing up for the people of Palestine,” Ms. Marzec is anti-Hamas and anti-Fatah and seeking regime change?
And from a perch on a Student Senate table, Ms. Marzec theatrically declared, to some applause, she “will never stand up for fascists.” Hmm. Though now under its theocratic dictates, Palestinian voters elected Hamas in 2006. Its charter calls for the destruction of Israel and genocide of the Jewish people. That document, and other Hamas propaganda, echoes World War II Nazi publications and broadcasts. This is not a coincidence, as University of Maryland Professor Jeffrey Herf demonstrates in Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World.
As for Fatah movement, its leaders rejected Israeli-U.S. two-state offers in exchange for Israeli-Palestinian peace in 2000 and 2001, and launched the bloody second intifada instead. They spurned a similar Israeli-only proposal in 2008. Meanwhile, they continued lionizing terrorist murderers of Jews and inciting further violence, in violation of the 1993 Israeli-Palestine Liberation Organization Oslo accords and the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian interim agreement.
If Ms. Marzec and her supporters — including, according to the reports, some fellow Student Senate members, OU faculty and at least one or two administrators—want to fight fascism’s ideological-theological heirs in the Middle East, they have plenty of choices. The list includes not only the Iranian and Syrian governments, but also ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Resistance Committees, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades of Fatah and many more.
But that would take real courage and creativity, and put them on the same side as Israel. Oh, the cognitive dissonance!
When my own children were visiting colleges a dozen years ago, I encouraged them to look at O.U. They eventually went elsewhere, but were they to be looking at schools today, I’m not sure I could suggest my alma mater, not before what sounds like some necessary ventilation.
We also sent the letter to the president of the University. Here is his reply:
Dear Mr. Rozenman,
Thank you for contacting me regarding the recent issues on our campus. To be sure, Ohio University is not being dismissive of the issues. Our focus is where it needs to be – on the safety and security of our students and university community and in helping our students work through this important teachable moment.
I am disheartened to see Ohio University being portrayed through images of Ms. Marzec’s “Bucket Challenge” and of student arrests. I hope that I can share a different picture with you: the big picture. It is one in which all members of the Ohio University community are supported, cherished and embraced. It is this atmosphere of inclusivity that has defined our campus community during my 10-year tenure and one that I intend to uphold.
In my recent message to the campus community, I acknowledged how difficult these past weeks have been for members of our community as well as our alumni and friends. Please know that Ohio University is making every effort to support a safe forum for open discourse and education on the complex issues of our times. As we do so, I encourage you to not let one idea expressed by one student influence your perception of Ohio University.
I believe that any lasting resolution on this matter must be made by students and for students. We were pleased by the calm and constructive manner in which our Student Senate came together this week, and we are actively supporting our students, as they work to identify pathways to peace. It is my hope that you will join with Ohio University in supporting student efforts to promote healing.
Our University comprises many student leaders, all of whom deserve our support. I respectfully ask for you to understand and support our educational mission and our need to allow our university community to address the current discourse—as we help our students hold constructive dialogues about issues and viewpoints that are deeply meaningful to them.
Roderick J. McDavis