Israel Brief October 30, 2011: Kent State University president slams anti-Israel professor

ISRAEL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Kent State University president slams anti-Israel professor

Source: JTA, 10-30-11

The president of Kent State University decried the behavior of a professor who shouted “death to Israel” during a lecture given by a former Israeli diplomat.

Ishmael Khaldi, the former deputy consul general at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco, was confronted by Kent State University history professor Julio Pino during a question-and-answer session following Khaldi’s speech at a campus event last week. Khaldi was speaking about his life as a Bedouin in Israel who rose through the ranks of the Foreign Ministry, as well as Middle East issues.

Pino, a convert to Islam and a tenured professor, asked Khaldi how the Israeli government could justify providing aid to countries like Turkey — to which Israel recently sent earthquake aid — with “blood money” from the deaths of Palestinian children. After briefly arguing with Khaldi, Pino left the auditorium shouting “Death to Israel.” An audience member responded by shouting “Shame on you” after him.

KSU President Lester Lefton said in a letter published on the university’s website that Pino’s behavior was “reprehensible, and an embarrassment to our university.”

Lefton wrote that he believed it as Pino’s right to pose a provocative question to Khaldi, but that while it was also Pino’s right to shout invective against Israel, “it is my obligation, as the president of this university, to say that I find his words 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. 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,” Lefton’s statement said.

“We welcome President Lefton’s clear condemnation of Professor Julio Pino’s deplorable conduct,” said Nina Sundell, the Anti-Defamation League’s Ohio regional director. “Statements such as ‘Death to Israel’ extend beyond legitimate political discourse. When the statement is shouted by a university professor at a university student organization event on campus, it is even more harmful.”

Pino has courted controversy for years, writing an opinion column in 2002 in which he praised a suicide bomber. In 2007 he faced allegations that he was behind the website Global War, which bills itself as “a jihadist news service.” At the time, Pino refused to comment on the allegations, describing it as a freedom of speech issue. However, his department chair said that Pino had told him that he contributed articles to the site.

Advertisements

Israel Political Brief October 30, 2011: Second cease-fire between Israel, Gaza reportedly brokered

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Second cease-fire between Israel, Gaza reportedly brokered

Source: JTA, 10-30-11

Rockets from Gaza continued to hit southern Israel as a second cease-fire in less than 24 hours was scheduled to go into effect.

 

Egypt reportedly continued to negotiate a cease-fire for Sunday night in an effort to stem a weekend assault of rockets and mortars on southern Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command on Sunday night announced that there were no more  restrictions on public gatherings, meetings, schools, non-essential jobs or shopping centers. Though the lifting of the ban means that schools can open as usual on Monday after being closed on Sunday, several southern Israeli communities such as Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheba and Gan Yavne announced that schools would remain closed on Monday.

At least 39 rockets and mortars pounded Israel’s South over the weekend, including 11 on Sunday morning. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attacks. The attacks left an Israeli father of four dead and dozens wounded.

“We will do anything to defend Israeli civilians,” said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday afternoon following a meeting with security and intelligence officials. “I advise the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations not to test our capabilities.”

Early Sunday afternoon, reports that Islamic Jihad had accepted an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire surfaced following several hours of calm. That cease-fire came to an end Sunday afternoon when Israel’s Air Force struck a terror cell about to launch a rocket from Gaza to Israel.

At least one member of the terror cell was killed in the Sunday afternoon attack, according to reports.

Several long-range Grad missiles hit in and near cities throughout southern Israel, including Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gan Yavne and Beersheba. A school and a private home were damaged in the attacks, and several cars were burned. Some 200,000 children stayed home from school, and several colleges and Ben-Gurion University did not open for the start of the new academic year on Sunday as scheduled….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief October 30, 2011: Social protest rally held in Tel Aviv, other Israel cities

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Social protest rally held in Tel Aviv, other cities

Source: JTA, 10-30-11

Some 20,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv for Israel’s first social protest in two months.

Saturday night’s gathering, joined simultaneously by smaller protests in Jerusalem, Haifa and Kiryat Shemona, among others, attracted a fraction of the 450,000 people across Israel that demonstrated at the end of the summer.

A protest in Beersheba was canceled due to rocket fire from Gaza.

The Tel Aviv rally began on Rothschild Boulevard, where the first and largest tent city from last summer’s protests was located, and moved to Rabin Square.

%d bloggers like this: