Kent State Responds to Professor's Anti-Israel Outburst
Associate professor shouted 'Death to Israel' at public lecture this week
Kent State University is responding to an anti-Israel outburst made by one of its professors at a public lecture this week.
The university released a statement today regarding comments made by history professor Julio Pino, who attended a speech given on campus Tuesday night by Ishmael Khaldi, former deputy consul general at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco. Pino sparked an argument when he asked Khaldi why Israel was contributing to the deaths of Palestinian women and babies, the Daily Kent Stater reported.
Pino, 50, is a tenured history professor and specializes in Latin American history. And he's been at the center of other controversies in the past during his time at Kent State.
The university released the following statement about Pino's comments:
"The event held Oct. 25 involved an invited speaker who spoke on campus. Dr. Julio Pino, a Kent State faculty member, attended the presentation by Ishmael Khaldi, the former Deputy Consul General at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco.
"The event was free and open to the public. The format of the event included a question-and-answer session that allowed for exchange and interaction with members of the audience. We acknowledge that Dr. Pino’s interaction was not respectful of the speaker and is not the courtesy most speakers experience at Kent State University.
"Clearly, Dr. Pino’s outburst was meant to disrupt the occasion and dilute the speaker’s message and influence. While his actions are garnering much media attention, we are confident that our students and members of the community who were in attendance will not be distracted from Mr. Khaldi’s more powerful message.
"We want to be clear that the university does not speak for Dr. Pino nor defend any views he might have, and he does not speak for Kent State, our departments or faculty. As a university, we are obligated by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to recognize that political speech is strongly protected."