Oberlin College is speaking out about the controversial Anti-Zionist memorial erected by two student groups in the center of campus last week meant to honor reported Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists recently killed by the Israeli Defense Force.
“Oberlin College is aware that an installation on campus last week by two student groups offended some members of our large and diverse community,” a spokesman for the school — located in Oberlin, Ohio — told the Daily News, noting the installation was removed after a few days.
“Oberlin students, like all citizens, are entitled to their own thoughts and expressions and are individually accountable for how they engage in public discourse. Students do not speak for the college, and the college does not dictate the views of its 2,850 students,” the spokesman continued in a statement. “The opinions presented by the installation were solely those of the student groups that created it and do not represent the views of Oberlin College.
“Oberlin opposes all forms of anti-Semitism, as we do all forms of prejudice and oppression,” the statement went on, noting the school’s “deep commitment to Jewish life and scholarship.”
Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine, which shared photos of the installation via Facebook Thursday, partnered with Oberlin Jewish Voice for Peace to create the installation “to commemorate the lives” of the “34 unarmed Palestinian civilians, including 8 children … who died at the hands of Zionist Settler Colonialism,” with black flags bearing “the names and ages of those who were lost,” alongside a larger Palestinian flag nearby.
The installation attributed Israel’s “violent airstrikes on the Gaza Strip” to the country’s aim to kill Bahaa Abu al-Atta, the leader of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, and his wife.
The Israeli Defense Force reported that at least 20 terrorists were killed in the rocket strikes between Nov. 12 and 14, and that most of the dead were “from Islamic Jihad,” adding that that the organization shot more than 450 rockets into Israel in that time span.
Sources in Palestine claim that 16 of the dead were civilians, among them several children.
According to The Algemeiner, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is “an Iranian-backed terrorist organization that is blacklisted by the United States, European Union, and others” and “aims to replace Israel with an Islamic Palestinian state, and has taken responsibility for suicide bombings and other attacks targeting Israeli civilians.”
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