- Former assistant professor of rhetoric and composition at Oberlin College
- Was fired from Oberlin for making anti-Semitic statements in 2016
- Supporter of Louis Farrakhan
- Supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel
- Supporter of Students for a Free Palestine
Dr. Joy Karega, whose full name is Joilynn Karega-Mason, earned a Ph.D. from the University of Louisville in 2014. She was an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition at Oberlin College in Ohio. One of the more significant courses Karega tought was titled “Writing for Social Justice.”
In recent years, Karega has posted numerous anti-Semitic messages on her Facebook page. On December 23, 2014, for example, she posted a photograph of the Jewish billionaire banker Jacob Rothschild, with accompanying text that read: “We own nearly every central bank in the world. We financed both sides of every war since Napoleon. We own your news, the media, your oil and your government.”
The following month, Karega quoted a conspiracy-theory blog that blamed Israel for the July 2014 downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet, an incident that killed 298 people. The text which Karega excerpted from the blog cited “the Rothschild-led banksters” who, having been “exposed and hated and out of economic options to stave off the coming global deflationary depression,” were now “implementing the World War III option.” “It seems obvious,” added Karega, “that the same people behind the massacre in Gaza are behind the shooting down” of the Malaysian plane. Contrary to her claim, however, a subsequent investigation concluded that the aircraft had probably been struck by a Russian-made missile.
On January 13, 2015—six days after two masked jihadists armed with AK-47s had murdered twelve people in the Paris headquarters of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo (to punish that periodical for having published disrespectful cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammad)—Karega posted an image of an ISIL/ISIS terrorist removing, from his own head, a mask resembling the face of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The terrorist’s forearm bore a tattoo of the Star of David and the words “JSIL Israel”—an acronym for “Jewish State In the Levant,” meant to convey the notion that Israel was the moral equivalent of terrorists affiliated with ISIL (Islamic State In the Levant). The text superimposed on the image read, “France wants to free Palestine? Time for a false flag …”—meaning that the Paris massacre was allegedly an Israeli operation designed to turn public opinion against Muslims in the Palestinian Territories. “Folks who turn off the indoctrinated media and do their homework,” Karega wrote, “know where Charlie Hebdo receives its support and backing.”
Also in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo mass murder, Karega wrote: “This ain’t even hard. They [Israel] unleashed Mossad on France and it’s clear why.” And when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a free-speech rally in Paris, Karega accused him of wanting “to bend [French President Francois] Hollande and French governmental officials over one more time in public just in case the message wasn’t received via Massod [sic] and the ‘attacks’ they orchestrated in Paris.” Karega took up this theme again in a November 17, 2015 Facebook post where she wrote: “It’s troubling that in this day and age, when there is all this access to information, most of the public doesn’t know who and what ISIS really is. I promise you, ISIS is not a jihadist, Islamic terrorist organization. It’s a CIA and Mossad operation, and there’s too much information out here for the general public not to know this.”
On March 7, 2015, Karega lauded the “truth-telling” of Nation Of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, for his then-recent assertion that “it is now becoming apparent that there were many Israeli and Zionist Jews in key roles in the 9/11 attack.”
On October 4, 2015, Karega objected strongly to a $12 million grant that the Obama administration had given to Holocaust survivors. “One of these days,” the professor wrote, “some of My Peoples gonna learn who ALL American presidents work for and why they are chosen and placed in office.”
In March 2016, after some media reports had brought publicity to Karega’s anti-Semitic writings, Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov issued a statement saying that his school “respects the rights of its faculty, students, staff and alumni to express their personal views.” Oberlin’s trustees, however, asked the administration and faculty to “challenge the assertion that there is any justification for [Karega’s] repugnant postings.” In response, the college initiated its faculty governance process “to review Dr. Karega’s professional fitness.” In August 2016, Oberlin announced that this process was still ongoing, and that Karega was being placed on paid leave until a decision could be reached. Karega reacted with indignation. A statement written on her behalf by a Detroit-based attorney accused Oberlin of “pandering to the dictates of a handful of vocal and wealthy religious zealots” who were purportedly using the college as a “personal tool of religious extremism.”
In November of 2016, Karega was fired from her job at Oberlin as a result of her anti-Semitic statements.
Karega is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Hamas-inspired initiative that aims to use various forms of public protest, economic pressure, and court rulings to advance the Hamas agenda of permanently destroying Israel as a Jewish nation-state. She also has been a campus organizer for Students for a Free Palestine, an affiliate of Students for Justice in Palestine.
Further Reading: “The Real Scandal at Oberlin Is Much Bigger Than One Professor’s Anti-Semitism” (Tablet, 2016); “Oberlin Professor Claims Israel Was Behind 9/11, ISIS, Charlie Hebdo Attack” (The Tower, 2-25-2016); “There’s an Ugly New Hashtag in Town — #JSIL. Guess What It Stands For?” (Haaretz.com, 10-1-2014); “Oberlin College Solution to Anti-Semitic Professor” (Israel-Academia-Monitor.com, 8-29-2016); “Oberlin Professor Accused of Anti-Semitic Remarks Is Placed on Paid Leave” (NY Times, 8-3-2016); “Joy Karega” (CanaryMission.org); “Oberlin Places Assistant Professor on Paid Leave after Anti-Semitic Posts” (The Tower, 2-25-2016).