Thursday, September 04, 2014

Ohio University's Anti-Israel Student President Does Blood Bucket Challenge Calling for BDS

The president of the student body at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio was challenged in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by Dr. Roderick J. McDavis, the president of the university. However, rather than dumping a bucket of ice water on her head (like millions of others have already done this summer), Megan Marzec dumped a bucket of fake blood over her head in protest of Israel and then encourages an academic boycott of Israel on behalf of Ohio University. Marzec has since deactivated her Facebook account and made the video password protected on her Vimeo account.

Before dumping a bucket of fake blood over her head, Marzec (wearing a pink shirt stating "Ohio U Divest From Israel") says in the video, "I'm sending a message of student concern of the genocide in Gaza and the occupation of Palestine by the Israeli state. I'm urging you, and OU, to divest and cut all ties with academic and other Israeli businesses and institutions," she said during in video. "This bucket of blood symbolizes the thousands of displaced and murdered Palestinians atrocities which OU is directly complacent in your cultural and economic support of the Israeli state." The video closes with red text stating "FREE PALESTINE" and "For more information on bringing BDS to Ohio University contact Megan Marzec," with her email address provided (, follows that, and then the video ends.

A coordinated effort to oust her from her leadership position at Ohio University began immediately after news of her video reached the campus community. The university's Student Senate (of which she is the titular leader) tweeted an apology for Megan Marzec's video, writing, "On behalf of Student Senate, we humbly apologize for the video President Megan Marzec posted." Of course, Marzec tried to downplay the politically charged video by saying it was a personal statement and not the opinion of the Student Senate or the university.

Yesterday, President McDavis released a statement that Marzec "had altered the original spirit with which President Roderick J. McDavis issued the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge." The statement said that the Student Senate president's actions "do not reflect the position of Ohio University or President McDavis."

Rabbi Danielle Leshaw, who serves as the director of Hillel at Ohio University, tweeted, "Tonight: the Jews of OU feel sad, betrayed, and angry. It's possible this has never happened before in the history of this campus. #BDS fail."

While Megan Marzec is entitled to free speech, she clearly hijacked the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and used her political clout as the Student Body president to make a very controversial statement calling for an academic boycott of the democratic state of Israel. Anyone can do the ice bucket challenge however they choose (there are no hard and fast rules), but in her elected position as president of the Student Senate of the university, she has a responsibility to conduct herself in a manner that represents the university in a positive light.

Megan Marzec was challenged the university president in the ice bucket challenge and used that as an opportunity to denigrate Israel, call for an academic divestment by the University, and accuse Israel of war crimes. If any other student of the university did that, it wouldn't even make news outside of the campus community. The fact that the sitting president of the Student Senate did it, leads many to think that Ohio University has an anti-Israel bias. I'm glad that Ohio University acted quickly to stand against Marzec's ignorant act and statement, but there is much more to do in order for the university to clean up this public relations nightmare.


Moshe Flam said...

Has there been a follow up from the university on your post?

Also, could you name some important research done by Ohio State U, together with Israel? Just so that the BDS movement gets to understand what this movement really means.

Also, a proper response from Israel would be to establish contacts with Ohio State by Israeli scientists or research facilities...

Rabbi Jason Miller said...

This was at Ohio University in Athens, not OSU in Columbus.

Robert Schwartz said...

I have examined the Marzac video carefully several times. The material she poured over her head was not blood, nor was it any kind of liquid. Most likely, it was red-tinted sand or dirt.
She is a liar in more ways than one.
Robert Schwartz, MD

Anonymous said...

What you have witnessed in Ohio by an anti-Semitic student and liar [genocide by IDF? what genocide?] called Megan Marzec is being played out [and has been for over two decades now] on British campuses all over the UK. Pro-Israel supporters are never allowed to counter-protest or disrupt the anti-Semites, but conversely the Free Palestine protesters are allowed not only to disrupt the Jewish students but also have them arrested. We must act now. Be warned: the radicalization of students against Israel is so entrenched in the UK there is no turning back. You may still have a chance.