Ohio University Asked To Apologise Following Arrest of Pro-Israel Students (UPDATE)


Hillel International, a Jewish campus organisation, is demanding a public apology from the Ohio University over the arrest of four pro-Israel students during a protest.

In a letter to University's president Roderick David, the Organisation's Chief Executive - Eric Fingerhut - said, "I cannot understand how the university administration could have possibly allowed the university police to arrest these students. These students are owed an apology from the university," JTA reports.

Pro-Israel students staged a protest during Wednesday meeting of the university's Student Senate. Protesters were calling for the resignation of the Senate's president, Megan Marzec, who initiated the "Blood Bucket Challenge" in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

In a video released last week, Marzec poured a dark red substance - meant to symbolize blood - over her head. The new twist to the "Ice Bucket Challenge" was aimed at raising awareness about innocent Palestinians being killed by Israel.

"This bucket of blood symbolizes the thousands of displaced and murdered Palestinians, atrocities which OU is directly complacent in through cultural and economic support of the Israeli state. As Student Senate president, I'm sending a message of student concern of the genocide in Gaza and the occupation of Palestine by the Israeli state," Marzec, a senior studying studio art, said in the video. "I'm urging you and OU to divest and cut all ties with academic and other Israeli institutions and businesses," Cleveland Jewish News reports.

When the protesters refused to subside, the Senate voted to remove them from the place of the protest. The students were charged with a fourth-degree misdemeanour for causing a disturbance to a lawful meeting.

"I urge you to personally take charge of the university's response to the arrest of the students, and to see that this wrong is made right," said Fingerhut, a former U.S. congressman from Ohio.

Marzec said that Jewish students were not arrested because of her pro-Palestine sentiments. Protesters did not give a chance to others to talk and spoke randomly. They would not have been detained had they obeyed the rules.

"The meeting became chaotic because of the outrage from others in the room that no one else was going to be able to speak," Marzec said.

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