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Arrested Pro-Israel Student Leader Speaks About Experience

Becky Sebo, a Ohio University undergraduate and pro-Israel leader, was arrested last fall for standing up against the anti-Semitism of the school’s president. As the student newspaper The Post reported at the time:

Ohio University Police Department Chief Andrew Powers told The Post that four students were arrested at Wednesday night’s Student Senate meeting in Walter Hall.

… Rabbi Danielle LeShaw, who went with the arrested students to OUPD’s station, told The Post they were charged with a fourth degree misdemeanor for disturbing a lawful meeting.

The four students arrested and charged were Maxwell Peltz, 20; Rebecca Sebo, 22; Gabriel Sirkin, 20; Jonah Yulish, 19. They are scheduled to appear in Athens Municipal Court Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m.

In Ohio, if convicted, such a charge can carry a maximum sentence of up to 30 days in jail, and a $250 fine.

All the arrested students have been released, according to an OUPD clerk.

Before the senate meeting was called to order [Student Speakout period], President of Bobcats for Israel, Becky Sebo, was the first to speak at the meeting. She read a speech directly at Marzec, who said several times during the meeting that she wanted to hear from students, but in an orderly fashion.

Sebo stated in her remarks that she is in favor of free speech and that any threats of violence made against Marzec are “unacceptable.” She said Bobcats for Israel is calling for Marzec’s resignation because Marzec, as senate president, took the stance that Israel has committed “atrocities” against Palestine.

Three minutes into Sebo’s speech, Marzec interrupted Sebo, saying that the speech was blocking other students from speaking. A chant was led by many of the Student Senate members, repeating phrases such as “this meeting is being hijacked by fascists” and “shame on bullies.”

Many in the crowd held handmade signs on notebook-torn pieces of paper that read “I would rather have a conversation,” a silent demonstration promoted by student senator-at-large Luke Kubacki.

Other members of Bobcats for Israel continued to speak over the chants and Marzec. Marzec stood up about eight minutes into the presentation and called for a vote to remove the students because “they are disrupting the meeting.”

The protesters continued to speak.

Another member of her group took over speaking before Sebo started speaking again, at which point OU Police officers surrounded her, including Chief Andrew Powers, who warned Sebo that she had “two minutes to stop” before she would be removed.

She sat down with Voice of Israel radio to discuss the ordeal and how the campus community has responded. 



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