Kent State professor yells 'Death to Israel' at Israeli diplomat
Professor Julio Pino asks Ishmael Khaldi, the first Bedouin to serve in Israel's foreign service, 'how can the Israeli government justify providing aid with blood money from deaths of Palestinian children?'
A Kent State professor stormed out of a lecture given by an Israeli diplomat on Tuesday evening, shouting "Death to Israel" after an exchange with the diplomat, the Kent State University news website reported.
Ishmael Khaldi, the first Bedouin to serve in Israel's foreign service, spoke at Bowman Hall at Kent University on Tuesday, opening the floor to questions after he finished his speech, the report said.
The first question was from history Professor Julio Pino, who reportedly asked Kahilidi how he and the Israeli government could justify providing aid to countries like Turkey with blood money that came from the deaths of Palestinian children and babies.
Israel has recently provided Turkey with aid and assistance in dealing with the earthquake that has claimed the lives of over 400 people and injured over 1,000.
Khaldi, taken aback, reportedly told Pino that his question was "not respectful".
Pino reportedly retorted that the diplomat was not being respectful to him, after which he accused the Israeli government of killing people.
“I do respect you, but you are wrong,” Khaldi reportedly said. “It’s a lie.”
Pino then stormed out of the auditorium, yelling, "Death to Israel". Someone from the audience yelled back at the history professor, "Shame on you."
This is not the first time Pino has stirred up controversy with his extremist views, the report said. In 2002, he wrote an opinion piece for the Daily Kent Stater, in which he praised a suicide bomber, and in 2007 Drudge Report featured a story that claimed he contributed to a blog called "Global War", which refers to itself as a "jihadist news service".
The president of Kent State University, Lester A. Lefton, slammed Pino for his behavior, saying the way Khaldi was treated was "reprehensible" and "an embarrassment to our university".
Lefton said that although it may have been Pino's right to state his views, his words were deplorable, and his behavior deeply troubling.
"We value critical thinking at this university, and encourage students to engage with ideas that they find difficult or make them uncomfortable. We hope that our faculty will always model how best to combine passion for one’s position with respect for those with whom we disagree," Lefton said in a statement.
"Calling for the destruction of the state from which our guest comes (as do some of our students, faculty and community members) is a grotesque failure to model these values," he added.
When asked to comment, Pino told Haaretz, "What I spoke was for the sake of the children of Palestine, and no other reason. The only politics I have are, 'There is no God but God, and Mohammed is His Messenger.' Peace be upon you."