Here’s an important story we’ve been following from Athens, Ohio: the student senate president at Ohio University dumped a bucket of fake blood over her head to commemorate the massacre victims in Gaza and supported boycott and divestment from Israel. There has been a giant backlash against Megan Marzec for creating that video (a takeoff on the ice-bucket challenge trend to raise money to fight ALS); and last night four angry Israel supporters were arrested at a student senate meeting for disruption and refusing the order to stop speaking. One of those students approached Marzec in what observers said was a physically-threatening manner.
In our first post on this story, we mentioned death threats against Marzec. Well thanks to Louis-Georges Schwartz, a professor of film studies at the school, here are two of them. Both use obscene language and say that Marzec will be killed– by terrorists or Islamists.
First, this anonymous email was sent to Marzec two days ago, saying that her life is over.
And second, here is a thoroughly-repellent letter that was sent last week to the president of the university, Roderick McDavis, and to others; Louis Schwartz also received a copy of it and posted it on Facebook with the aim of protecting Marzec. McDavis is black. The letter contains a threat to Marzec. The author of the threat is Debra Halborn, a writer.
The threat is not actually the worst of the threats directed at Marzec. She has received multiple death threats, Schwartz told us.
The threatening nature of Halborn’s text prompted the University to contact local security and law enforcement. Schwartz posted an image of Halborn’s threat on his Facebook page, and Halborn wrote another email (below), to OU President McDavis and his wife, including a graphic from her Facebook page and an invitation to share the graphic “for those who strive to forge a better world.”
Halborn then wrote an email to Schwartz. The subject line on the email was “Chain of events: BDS matter and Atonement” and referenced her email to Davis and his wife as “an apology”. Perhaps it is her offer to share her artwork that she sees as her atonement. And Halborn describes her first communication as the “BDS letter.” Here is the content of the email with a name removed ——. The words in brackets  were written by Halborn.
Yesterday, I presented my apology to Dr. McDavis [attached], and copied Miss—–; the contents of which, she deemed not to “share” with you as she did my [regretfully written] BDS letter, perhaps because it is not as controversial, as inflammatory; so I am sharing my Apology with you, today – for you also chose to pour gasoline on a most delicate and hurtful matter by spreading this issue on your Facebook page – rather than to email me on your own, to telephone me on your own, or write to me on your own, and discuss your feelings.
As a Jewish man, you know that Erev Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement, is nigh; and on Kol Nidre, the Holiest of Holy Days, I will stand before G-d, declare to Him my terrible act, and await His Judgement and His Forgiveness.
Do you remember the Aveinu Malkaynu, Louis? Our prayer of Atonement:
Avienu Malkaynu, Our Father our King, We stand before you – Avienu Malkaynu, We have sinned before Thee . . .we ask Thy divine Forgiveness . . .
L’Shanah Tovah Tikatayvu : A Happy New Year to you, Louis. May G-d grant you a Good Year.
The case suggests that the battle over Israel and Palestine is coming to American shores, as well it should. Though the tactics are extremely concerning.